Yikes. Freewriting is awesome, but I think the meditation stuff in this piece is misleading.
I had a similar struggle and story about meditation for years, until I one day described it to a colleague with a regular practice and years of experience.
“I keep doing it, and some moments it’s magical and insightful, but other times, nothing. I know I’m not doing it quite right, but I don’t know what’s missing.”
“Yeah,” he said, “it doesn’t really work like that. Meditation isn’t about what happens when you meditate. You don’t go to the gym to be strong in the gym.”
That’s when it actually clicked, and my meditation practice became regular, powerful, and I stopped worrying about the days when nothing happened.
Meditation is about physically changing the structure of my brain, over weeks and months. The results will never show up in the middle of the act, and even over time, they’re hard to pinpoint.
Meditation changes the way we perceive reality, and there are no sturdy guideposts in our minds we can use to measure our progress. But little by little, just like the gym, if we consistently do it, we do change.
I love me some free writing, and have led free writing-based workshops for years. It’s a fantastic tool for lots and lots of things.
But it’s not better than meditation. It’s different. It does a different thing.
Like Ev Williams, I’d ignore the catchy headline and subheading, and instead say: “Free writing. It’s a really cool tool. So is meditation. Do both.”