From The Creative Penn:
I have been a long-term meditator, but I never clicked together how my meditation practice served my writing practice until ten years ago.
It took me going through a ten-year writer’s block, then training as a clinical hypnotherapist to get it. I did not train as a clinical hypnotherapist to unblock myself. It was just one of those wonderful unexpected side effects. It helped me to understand how the mind works.
Until we understand how our minds work, we are slaves to our thoughts. Meditation is one of the paths that can help us become aware of what is going on in our heads. Writers spend a lot of time in their heads and maybe that is the reason why, they have more risks of getting stuck in there.
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1. Meditation helps you become aware of your thoughts
It might seem insignificant but until we become aware of the constant stream of thoughts that populate our minds, we tend to believe everything we think.
Only by doing a regular meditating practice can we become aware of this constant stream of thinking and detach ourselves from the content of our thoughts.
It is estimated that we have an average of 3,000 thoughts per hour. This is a dense thinking background that can lead us to believe that every thought we have is actually us.
I like to compare it to clouds in the sky. If each thought is a cloud and the sky is full of clouds, then it is easy to forget that there is a blue sky behind all those clouds. We need a reminder that the clouds are not actually the sky. They only pass through.
2. Meditation helps you train your ego
This is a vital part of meditation. As authors, we can only improve our skills if we are open to constructive criticism. If our ego is wounded, and a lot of authors have wounded egos, then the smallest criticism about our work can send us into a spin.
This is what is holding a lot of writers from publishing their books, sometimes even from getting started in the first place. “What if my mother does not like it?” “What if my first-grade teacher ridicules it?”
Ego does not only come out as an aggressive overconfident energy. It often manifests as doubt and fear. By observing our fears and not getting sucked into the drama, we slowly put the ego back into its place.
By doing so, we open the door to improving our work by plucking the courage to write and then when the work is done, to submit it to an editor or a friend and get the feedback that we need.
The more we meditate, the easier this process will be, as the ego will lose its strong grip on our lives.
Link to the rest at The Creative Penn