Mindful Writing

Over the past few years, I’ve embraced mindfulness in my everyday life. Basically, I try to focus on the here and now. Worrying about the past or fearing the future only leads to creativity-sapping anxieties. I will admit that some days I’m more successful than others. However, even a little bit of mindfulness goes a long way, and every time I’m present in the moment I am happier for it.

I happened to start thinking about this week’s post while I was ensconced in such a mindful moment. As I brought my mind to the “now” I also contemplated writing. I thought about how writing mindfully helps me to focus my creativity. Then I thought about all of you. Since mindful writing has benefited me I hope it can benefit you, too.

So this week, concentrate on writing mindfully. I can already hear you saying, ”Ok, but just what does that mean?” I do not profess to being a self-help guru or a new-age-y acolyte, but simply put we can write with more clarity and purpose if we don’t clutter our minds with worry, anxiety, doubt, or fear. When I say “write mindfully,” I ask you to connect to your creativity without adding the baggage of past successes or failures…because your past is in the past. You are a different writer now than you were ten years ago, eighteen months ago, or even a week ago. I ask you to write without the fear of your inner editor, because your inner editor is simply a neat and tidy personification of all your concerns about how others will judge your work down the road. You are at your creative zenith when you are in the zone, when you write to write, when you allow your creativity to flow through you without past or future entanglement. Does this mean you will never edit? Of course not. You will edit when you need to edit. But for now — for this creative moment — just let go and write. I know I’ve stunted my writing far too often by being self-conscious. I’ve been guilty of avoiding topics or structures or even words and phrases because “they don’t sound like me” or because “someone may not like it.” However, such limiting thoughts create an impediment to creativity rather than a fertile delta.

Write mindfully. Let go of the past. Don’t concern yourself with the future. All you have is right now…and right now is a marvelous, exciting, sparkling creative moment.

John Caruso

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