You stare at the blank paper. Either nothing comes to the mind or there’s a traffic jam of thoughts and you just don’t know how to begin! Or sometimes you know what to write but the right words may not pop into the mind. Well, you’re not alone, even the best writers face this and there is no need to panic.
All we need is a little bit of intuition and lots of clarity. It is just a meditation away. Meditate and you’ll find a structure or framework for your writing manifest and you may be stringing beautiful sentences. Your expression will improve as your thoughts translate magically into words. Meditation can help enhance your writing abilities.
Writing in a pressure cooker?
Writing is no mean task. It usually needs a lot of research, assimilation and churning of ideas, and eventually the actual act of writing. In order to unleash the creative best, any writer would love to have infinite time. But that would mean living in a utopian world in this pressure-cooker age. College essays, stories, dissertations, articles - all have a word limit and deadline!
But that doesn’t mean we get away with mediocre work. The best can still be delivered with the help of meditation. Regular practice allows us to easily slip into a calm state of being, despite the mounting pressure. This relaxed state provides the same expanded feeling as the availability of infinite time. And from this expanded feeling, we get the energy and the focus to write our best.
Tip – When you are pressed for time, make sure to take out 20 minutes to meditate. It will actually add hours to your day by increasing your focus and boosting productivity.
Express yourself Better
Every writer faces times when nothing seems to flow. What to do then? That could be the time when you can use your reserve of amazing things which you might have observed sometime - the name of the tree at the end of the sidewalk, the passage of the ants, the idiosyncrasies of different people.
As writers, we don’t let anything go unnoticed anyway. Now to express all that well, we need to also observe and perceive well. For good observation, sharpness of mind is a requisite. And that’s what meditation does. A heightened sense of awareness is something that all meditators experience.
“Perception, observation and expression - these three aspects which are integral to any exercise can blossom when our mind has good rest. And meditation gives deep rest” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Tip - Those times when nothing seems to flow, just meditate and observe creative ideas come to you effortlessly. Let these ideas then percolate into your writing, making it gripping and evocative.
Why Compare? You are your Favorite!
As writers, it’s natural for us to sometimes compare ourselves with other authors. Some of our pieces might be better than others’, some may not be. But what’s most important is that in this race, we do not let ourselves get de-motivated at any point. As a meditator, you will find it easy to keep your spirits high. There might be times when you feel down but just a few minutes of meditation will charge you up.
Tip - Every writer has his own signature style. Meditate and discover your unique style which can help prevent comparison.
There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel
Once you have tasted success and set a bar for your writing, there might be constant pressure to keep up to that level. There is also a possibility that you may experience failure in some pieces. But do not worry – know that failure only leads you to another success if you learn from it.
Meditation makes your mind stronger to drop the emotions attached to these little failures and move on. It makes you more aware, and this awareness gives you the ability to realize that there’s always another time.
Tip – Success after failure, failure after success – this is the cycle of life, but we tend to forget this when we think that we have failed. Wake up and remind yourself that failure is not permanent.
Close your Eyes and Get Connected
Most of the classic literature or famous novels are read by people all around the world and even hundreds of years later. Although the context, characters, events or thoughts seem to be different on the surface, at a subtler level the theme is universal. It strikes a chord with the human nature. Therefore, readers can connect with them despite the many differences. When queried, these famous writers say that writing just came to them!
But where does it come from? Meditation helps us tap into that source. Our mind is perpetually wandering outside in the world but during meditation, we close our eyes and get closer to the Self. And only when we are close, can we listen to the source. Writing that comes from this space is universally interesting because we are all connected to the source.
“Writing used to be a largely rational process for me. Such writing, though precise, was devoid of emotions and hence unable to connect to people,” says Hari Ram Narayanan, a Chennai-based writer. He adds, “As I began meditating, I was able to tap into a subconscious space where things worked more naturally. The resulting works, being more intuitive, could make a deeper impact on readers. And creating them became more enjoyable and effortless.”
Note: This does not mean that we skip research. As writers, all of us know how important it is to do our homework before writing any story because it helps us understand the subject better and thereby produce good work.
So meditate and keep writing!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks