Worries, problems, fears and thoughts of strange things are constantly spinning around inside your head, and you just can’t seem to stop them.
Does this sound familiar? More often than not, when I can’t write, it is because I am blocking myself. I’ve got a schedule to abide by here, and sometimes I’m in a crunch. I need to write, but nothing comes out.
The best way to get my writing done is if I do it well before my post goes live. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and I need to have a few tricks up my sleeve of how I can dip my toes in my own secret pool of inspiration.
What you are about to read is one of those sleeve tricks that I use. It’s highly effective, it makes you feel at peace, and it even improves your health (no, I’m not talking about exercising).
The (Toe Dipping) Process
What you’re about to do is sit perfectly still and observe yourself. It is sometimes called meditation, but in this case, I like to call it idea generation.
This will help calm you down and give your ideas room to make themselves heard. What I want you to do is set an intention, or a goal if you wish.
For example, I used it today to write an article that I already knew the headline for. I knew the topic I wanted to cover. My intention was to clear my mind and get the content flowing.
I sat myself cross-legged on my couch. I took a few deep breaths to get started, and I started focusing on my breath going in and out.
You can also focus on your body. I personally like to vary between feeling my whole body and my breath. When I feel my whole body, I can literally feel the energy in my body come alive.
When you first start doing this, you will have a lot of thoughts coming in. Here are a few examples:
- This is ridiculous, why am I doing this again?
- Hey, what should I have for dinner?
- Did I remember to feed the dog?
- Oh no, I have to pay the bills on Friday.
- My leg itches.
- This isn’t helping me at all. Ideas, hello?
When it happens, just observe them without getting attached. This will become easier and easier with time.
In the beginning, you may feel resistance, because if you’ve never done this, you probably have a few lingering emotions and tensions hanging out in your body. As soon as you put your awareness on them, they disappear.
As I did this for less than 10 minutes, I felt clear, at peace and inspired to write. I opened my eyes, picked up my external keyboard (I don’t like to write on laptops), and I started writing, while feeling my body and being anchored in the now.
I don’t worry about editing at this point. My focus is on getting the inspiration down on paper.
The 5-Step Process Summarized
1. Quietude. Find a place where you know you won’t be disturbed. This doesn’t work for me at all if I know that anyone can come into the room at any time, so make sure you find a place where you can relax.
2. Intention. Set your intention or goal. It could be anything. Brainstorming a topic, clearing something you’ve been stuck on, or even feeling out what steps you should take next in your life. This process is about tapping into your core.
3. Breathe. Once your intention is set, sit down in any way you like, and close your eyes. On a chair, cross-legged or lotus, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are comfortable. Start with a few deep breaths, and then put all of your focus on your breath.
4. Observe. When thoughts and feelings start arising, just observe and accept them as they are. You will get caught up in them from time to time. When that happens, bring your focus back to your breath and keep going.
5. Write. Once you’ve done this for a few minutes, you will feel a sense of calm and clarity. Open your eyes, keep breathing, and start writing. If nothing happens, I usually close my eyes and go back to breathing. You will know when you’ve done this enough, because you will feel a sense of calm, peace and joy.
And that’s that. You no longer have an excuse not to write.
Hate me, love me, It’s all good.
Jean Sarauer says
I meditate like this a lot, but I’ve never merged the process with my writing before. I think this is a stellar idea!
Nice! This is definitely very effective. Try it out!
Great way to clear your mind and relax. It’s not the writing that is hard, it is overcoming the inertia at the beginning and you have shared one great way of doing that. Thanks
The inertia and our thoughts, tough obstacles, but even so, easy to overcome.
Thanks for commenting Randall!
rob white says
This sounds like a great technique, Henri. Getting in flow with Universal Mind is so essential to any creative process… and as you illustrate, it is there for everybody when sincerely seek to know ourselves.
Exactly! To be honest, I just re-discovered this myself, and I love it so far. It all comes down to what’s working for you at this very moment.
Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) says
I practice this technique also and find it helpful. When I am writing and get to a place where I am stuck, I close my eyes, get out of my head, and go deep inside to see what wants to come out.
I have found that I write more quickly when I plan a brief outline of the post as well. This has made a huge difference for me.
Outlining helps me a lot too, although sometimes I’m so stuck that I don’t even know what the outline might be.
Brainstorming, meditating and getting everything out, then outlining seems to work well at the moment.
Thanks Gail 🙂
Nadia - Happy Lotus Lifestyles says
It is always cool to read about other people’s creative process.
I have found that ideas for posts/articles/audio/videos/books usually come to me without me looking for them. I think we just need to have an open mind and heart. How we access that openness is different for each person.
Here’s to living creatively!
I’m the same. Ideas come when I’m not looking for them. This can happen by taking a stroll in nature, swimming, or just sitting down and meditating.
Here here! 😀
I have done meditation for years, but letting the thoughts come and go consciously was always problematic. This is the first time I actually made it happen.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need some external directions during times of internal chaos.
Thanks so much.
I’m thrilled to hear that, Christina! Yes, I definitely do need some directions from time to time myself. Whatever works 🙂
I´ll give your method a try, why not? What I usually do is try to create a few random headlines and work on them during the days, always finishing one writing with an idea for the next day. But my process doesn´t work if you need to deliver in the same day. That´s when meditating like you do comes in handy. Thanks.
Sometimes we have to produce when we don’t want to. I’m sometimes surprised at the quality of content that comes from a little bit of pressure!
Yeah meditation saves the day yet again. I love the idea of using the process for writing. As a new writer I seem to stumble around till the pressure is too great to bear. Now I’ll take my place on my cushion and breathe.
With Aloha, Gina
Yes! Breathe! And writing will get easier as you write more 🙂
Nice to see you here, Gina!
Archan Mehta says
For me, it is a combination of strolls, nature, the outdoors and meditation. So inspiring.
Swimming is a great suggestion as well.
That gets the ball rolling and we are able to engage with process of creation.a
This post was the best. You cut a long story short and get to the heart of the matter.
Thank you and cheers to your wonderful and inspiring life. Have a great day too. Cheers.
Thank you for this post. I will try this technique. I have been blogging for 2 years but I haven’t reach the point where I want my blog to be. It’s been an up and down journey.
Julie Reiser says
I’m obviously coming in to this comment stream late in the day, but I’m a big fan of sitting before writing, and I am psyched to see other people talking up its virtues!
There’s a perfect time for everything and your comment came exactly when it should’ve come. I’m glad you’re another fan of stillness.