Hello to fellow sufferers, I mean writers. It’s that time of the writing cycle – when you’ve completed your manuscript, sent if off to a myriad of publishers and agents and 6 weeks later, no response. I read recently that bad press is better than no press – well I’m in the no press range and it’s pretty demoralising. However, I don’t want to wallow and it’s not going to stop my writing. I’m addicted and what else can I do with my spare time?
Thank goodness I have been practicing my Mindfulness to get me through. Recently I read a blog by Nicole Bianchi entitled 5 writing tips by Hemingway which were pertinent to writing and the types of tips a famous writer would give, however, as I read them I felt that Hemingway was also very mindful.
- Block out negative thoughts;
‘Once you are into the novel it is as cowardly to worry about whether you can go on to the next day as to worry about having to going to inevitable action. You have to go on. So there is no sense to worry… As soon as you start to think about it stop it. Think about something else. You have to learn that to write a novel. The hard part about a novel is to finish it.’
Andy Puddicombe via the Headspace site wrote;
‘Now imagine experiencing that same thought, knowing it is simply a passing thought, in no way identifying with it or using it to reinforce a storyline in the mind, and instead, letting it go.’
2. Sharpen your observational skills;
‘Watch what happens today. If we catch (get into) a fish see exact it is that everyone does. If you get a kick out of it while he is jumping remember back until you see exactly what the action was that gave you that emotion. Whether it was the rising of the live from the water and the way it tightened like a fiddle string until drops started from it, or the way he smashed and threw water when he jumped.’
Andy tells us to always remain present by noticing what we’re doing and even when we change positions from sitting to standing etc. and how that feels.
‘Then get in somebody else’s head for a change. If I bawl you out try to figure out what I’m thinking about as well as how you feel about it. If Carlos curses Juan think what both their sides of it are. Don’t just think who is right … As a man you know who is right and who is wrong … As a writer you should not judge. You should understand … Listen now. When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen.’
Andy tells us to commit our practice to others but also to practice empathy in everything we do;
‘Acting based on information gathered from observing and understanding the feelings of others makes empathy one of the most important skills for navigating interpersonal relationships.’
Proof that writing is a mindful activity!
I highly recommend both for a read.