Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Gentoku McCree, author of two self-help books, Fit and Mindful and Awareness.
Gentoku stops by today with a guest post on “mindful writing.” He stops by again in June for a post on movement for writers.
By Gentoku McCree
I used to hate writing. For years, I tried blogging and failed. The pattern was always the same. I would get fired up about a topic, write feverishly for few weeks and then lose steam. My blog would lay cold and abandoned like a scorned lover. Every now and again, I‘d get inspired and write something. But it never lasted. Eventually I stopped trying.
Then last year I started writing a blog on Mindful Fitness. Right away, I noticed something was different. I was focused and motivated, post ideas appeared out of nowhere, and I was getting positive feedback. After years of trying, I fell back in love with writing. It was wonderful.
So What Changed?
Many things changed but the key was this: I stopped worrying about what I wrote and started caring about how I wrote.
Writing is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. Yet, many of us write with empty hearts. We get so obsessed with the product that we neglect the producer.
This is a huge mistake because our hearts hold the power to create connection, embody truth, and manifest joy. Our job as writers is to create a space for our hearts to speak.
One of the best ways to create this space is to write mindfully. Mindfulness helps us bring awareness, focus, and intention to our work. And it’s easier than you think.
Six Steps to Writing Mindfully
1. Write Down Your Intentions
We are great at writing down goals. But intentions are harder, because ask us todefine who we are. Ask yourself what is my intention for today’s work? If your answer is to write well, Great! But look deeper. What are you trying to create?
Having clear intentions establishes a strong foundation for excellent writing.
2. Write Down Your Fears
We are all afraid of something, especially when it comes to writing. Are you afraid no one will like your work? That you won’t be able to express your ideas? Or maybe you’re afraid you won’t write anything at all?
No matter what it is, admit it, and write it down. Unspoken fear has power, to conquer your fear bring it into the light. Accept that you’re afraid and then let it go.
3. Set a Timer
Simply put, I always writer better when I use a timer. Limiting time increases our focus. We are more likely to only write what is essential. And when we say less we reveal more.
4. Set a deadline
Important tasks always have a deadline. When we create deadlines, we are saying our work is important. But deadlines only work if we…
5. Make it hurt
A deadline without pain is more of a wish than a promise. A real deadline means you have to show up. And that’s what you want. You want to show up for every sentence. I achieve this by making bets. I’ll tell a friend I’ll pay them $50 if I don’t finish on time. When I bet I meet the deadline. When I don’t I’m often late.
6. Set the scene.
Now that you have made a promise to show up and created the conditions for success you have to prepare the environment. Unplug the Internet, block out distractions, whatever it takes. Make your writing environment a sacred place. A cluttered room means cluttered mind. If you are terminally cluttered, go somewhere else. Find an open clean space where you feel at ease.
Finally, make sure to honor times where creativity is ripe.
I do my best writing after yoga class. But only if I don’t listen to the radio on my walk home. Find your writing sweet spots and exploit the crap out of them.
Writing is less about producing and more about creating the space for our own voice to arise. Great writing not only comes from this space, but it also creates this space for the reader. By taking the time to care for ourselves, we create the strength to show up in a ways we never thought possible.
What techniques do you use access your heart when you write?
Gentoku McCree is a mindfulness-based personal trainer, former monastery resident, a yoga school student, writer, and Zen Buddhist practitioner living in Portland, Oregon. Gentoku is his Buddhist name given to him by his teachers Chozen and Hogen Bays at Great Vow Zen Monastery. Gentoku means manifesting virtue or present sincerity. His mission is to support others in living a more healthy, balanced, and mindful life.
Website – mindfitmove.com
Purchase links for books – http://www.mindfulfitnessmovement.com/#!resources/c164j
Twitter – @mindfitmove