Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 9, 2018

ASK Dianne – Pre-Writing Meditation

Q: Writing is something I love doing.  But sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be good enough to be published.  Am I the only one who feels like this? 

A: No, you’re not the only one.  Anyone in the creative arts will face this self-doubt—numerous times, in fact.  No matter how long you’ve been writing, painting, dancing, or singing, you will find yourself doubting that you have the courage and craft needed to make that vision of yours come to life.  That’s where meditation, and creative affirmations can come into play.

Meditation before writing can eliminate any negative thoughts you may unconsciously be carrying into your writing time.  It can help to dissipate self-doubt before you even try to pen those words that you are, positively and without a doubt, capable of creating.

Developing a pre-writing meditation practice isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as you might think.   It’s basically sitting down in a comfortable seated position, in a quiet spot, and bringing your focus on your breath.  Let’s give it a try:

Just close your eyes and put all thoughts out of your mind except the in-and-out rhythm of your breath.  No need to change a thing.  Just notice it.  A silent mantra, ‘breathing in, breathing out’ in time with your inhale and exhale might help the process.  Or you might notice the four parts of the breath: the inhale, the pause at the top of the inhale; the exhale; and the pause at the bottom of the exhale. Or place your hands on the low belly to notice the rise with each inhale, and the drawing-away of the belly with each exhale.  Whatever works to detach your mind from its flurry of worries is the perfect choice.

You can set your timer for one minute, five minutes, or whatever number of minutes you feel you need that day.  The goal is to have a calm, clear mind at the end of your pre-writing meditation, so it is ready to be filled with your characters, plot and setting as you launch into your writing assignment with confidence.  With this simple meditation on the breath, you’re now open and ready for your muse.

Creative self-doubt can be specific or generalized.  To refresh and renew creative self-confidence, or to keep it strong, you might want to weave creative affirmations into your daily pre-writing meditation.  If you did this, you would add a “planting the seed” sort of thought as a closing mantra, to be repeated silently three times before you hear the timer sound that signals your return from the meditative state your breath work as brought you to….which is a very powerful time to plant these POSITIVE thoughts about your ability to write the things you need to write that day.

Here are a few to try out:

I PUT MY HEART INTO EVERY WORD I WRITE.

I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY TO THE WORLD.

MY MIND AND HEART OVERFLOW WITH WRITING IDEAS.

TODAY THE WORDS FLOW FREELY FROM MY PEN TO THE PAGE.

MY WRITING IS MY GIFT TO THE WORLD.

MY MUSE IS PERSISTENT AND CONSISTENT.

MY WRITING CONNECTS MY HEART WITH THE HEART OF EACH READER.

WRITING COMES AS NATURALLY TO ME AS BREATHING.

MY WRITING SPARKLES AND SHINES.

MY IMAGINATION LIVES WITHOUT LIMITS.

CREATIVITY FLOWS THROUGH ME WITHOUT EFFORT.

IMAGES AND WORDS COME EASILY WHEN I SIT DOWN TO WRITE.

I WRITE WITHOUT FEAR OF JUDGMENT BY OTHERS.

I AM CONFIDENT AND CERTAIN OF MY WORDS.

EACH WORD BRINGS ME CLOSER TO MY VISION.

I TRUST MY CREATIVE PROCESS TO SUPPORT MY GOALS.

I WRITE WITH EXCITEMENT AND ACCEPTANCE.

I AM COMMITTED TO FOLLOWING MY WRITING PATH TODAY.

Sometimes, if I am having a particularly self-doubty day, I will handwrite my affirmation I used in meditation on a sticky note and put it at the side of my computer screen where I’ll see it all writing session long.

Happy—and confident, self-affirming—Writing!

Dianne

DIANNE’S BIO:

Dianne Ochiltree is a nationally recognized author of books for the very young. Her books have appeared on numerous recommended reading lists, classroom desks and library shelves. Her bedtime book, LULL-A-BYE, LITTLE ONE, was a selected for the Dollywood Foundation’s childhood literacy initiative, Imagination Library in 2007. Her picture book, MOLLY BY GOLLY! THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER, received the Florida Book Awards (FBA) Bronze Medal in the Children’s Literature category in 2012 and was chosen for the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer list of feminist literature for girls. Her picture book, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT, won the FBA Silver Medal in 2013. Her 2015 title, IT’S A SEASHELL DAY, was given the FBA Gold Medal/Gwen Reichert Award as well as the Gold Medal for Florida picture book from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. For more information about Dianne’s books, go to http://www.dianneochiltree.com.

Dianne, thanks for sharing your expertise with us. Another great article.

REMEMBER: To send in your questions for Dianne. Use Kathy(dot)Temean(at)gmail.com. Please put ASK DIANNE in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing. I do have self-doubt and question my work. I occasionally meditate and pray prior to writing and it does help.

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing and it makes me feel I m not the only one, because we all have it 🙂 but pls read or listen to ‘big magic’ elizabeth gilbert.

    Like


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