In the recent issue of RWR (Romance Writer's Report), Maggie Marr (Secrets of the Hollywood Girls Club) wrote an article entitled Meditation and the Writer's Mind: Clarity, Focus, and a Fountain of Words. In it she explained that meditation can play a vital part in a writer's ability to create exceptional dialogue, form good, clear words and sentences, and develop a believable, interesting plot.
Sounded fab to me, though I've gotta admit: I never dreamed meditation could really work. I always pictured monks in orange robes, swaying back and forth, eyes closed, hands resting on thighs, forefinger and thumb barely touching, while murmuring, "Ohmmmmm...." How on earth could something like that possibly work for me? A normal chick, desperately attempting to write for publication so I can do something I love, quit my day job, and comfortably pay my bills. Meditation? Yeah, right.
Well, I tried it for the first time yesterday morning, again this morning, and I've gotta say: it's pretty darn neat. Maggie suggests finding a quiet place and sitting on a pillow, legs folded Indian-style (you can lay down, if you want, but that might induce sleep, which defeats the purpose), palms turned outward and resting on your thighs. Okay, now, close your eyes. Relax your body. Then--and this is the hard part--clear your mind.
I mean it. Like, you can only acknowledge the steady rhythm of your own breathing. No thinking about washing dishes or doing laundry or the fact that you were supposed to at least reach your goal of a thousand words yesterday but you barely squeezed out five hundred. All of that needs to get out of there. Gone. Sayonara. Just... breathe. Relax. Empty your mind of all thought, all worry. Breathe. Listen to the solid exhale and inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Don't think about how long you need to do this, don't set a timer. Just go with it.
Trust me, this whole kit'n caboodle is easier said than done, but afterwards when you arrive at the keyboard, your brain should be fresh and ready to take on the scene at hand. Fresh words, good sentence flow. No letting other cares and worries impede your story's progress, because you released all of those niggling predilections through meditation. All you have is your book, its characters, and all the plot twists and turns that will eventually lead them to their goal.
And--hopefully--to a happy ending for both of you.
Have you ever tried meditation? Yoga, maybe? If so, how did/does it work for you? Do you find it actually helps your thought process? Strengthens it? I'd love to hear some details!
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,