Beating Writer’s Block: Meditate

Meditate

Meditation has, for a long time, been used as a way to calm the body and the soul. It also allows for the peace of mind to de-clutter your thoughts towards breaking through your Writer’s Block.

How you meditate is up to you, but the most important thing you’ll need is somewhere you can sit in comfort, without being too comfortable. Commonly, meditation takes place on the floor, with legs crossed over. The key is to sit up straight, whether you’re in a chair or on the floor, and to allow your arms to relax. Placing your hands on your knees gives you something to do with them.

Some people meditate with music or sounds of nature playing in the background. If you have some experience meditating in that way, you might like to turn it on. You might also consider scented candles, incense, or a comfortable cushion to sit upon as part of your meditation.

In my experience of meditation, it has been done sitting on the floor – on a cushion – with my legs crossed, and my eyes open. We began as a group by regulating our breathing, simply as a means to calm down, and sat like that for a good ten to fifteen minutes. It might surprise you how much time passes when you choose not to focus on anything, only to sit in one place and breathe.

My advice would be to attempt even five minutes of sitting in silence, preferably on the floor if you’re able – or with your feet flat on the ground if sitting in a desk chair – if you’ve never meditated before. I don’t advise setting a timer; simply take note of the time before you begin, and try for five minutes of uninterrupted silence and calm.

Action Time! When your time has passed, you have a couple of options.

One is to dive straight back into your work in progress, your mind cleared from distractions, and attempt to address the problem you’ve had. The other option is to jot down any thoughts you might have now that you’re allowed to move about and you have a blank slate to work with.

Of course, you might also consider just writing about the meditation process and how it made you feel. What thoughts were going through your head? Did it help to calm you down? For the fiction writers out there, how might your protagonist have felt in your position? Would he/she have been able to sit in quiet contemplation for a few minutes? Could they do with a chance to settle down, to step out of the drama of their lives? What would he/she have been thinking about the entire time?

These questions not only allow you to partake in a short writing exercise, they allow you to address both your own thoughts, and the thoughts and feelings of your characters. The latter is especially important, and can help make a huge difference in your writing.

If you found meditation helpful, you might consider doing it every day – not just as part of your writing routine.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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2 Responses to Beating Writer’s Block: Meditate

  1. Pete says:

    There are indeed times when it is good to break away from the world around you, but I have also found while working (editing) on a project inspiration can come from some very strange sources.

    • Paul Carroll says:

      Absolutely! I’m a victim of inspiration coming at the worst of times, so I worked on some memory techniques over the years to try make sure I remembered the good ideas until I got to write them down.

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