Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mindful Writing

"Travel, undertaken with mindfulness, can be a powerful vehicle for personal transformation." ~ Joseph Dispenza, The Way of the Traveler

If you're like me, you rush to the computer or notepad whenever time allows. You type story snippets into emails to yourself at work and scribble them on napkins during your lunch break. We write like mad because there's other things to do: the job, the family, the dinner.

What would happen if, maybe once or twice a week, we were able to slow down and savor our writing time? Trust me, I dream about this. Waking up slowly, blogging a bit, sitting down to my in-desperate-need-of-edits novel and taking my time to blot out extraneous adjectives and tighten up narrative. Why is it such an elusive pipe dream?

Everyone has heard that if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else. It's true. What if we treated writing this way? I mean, if we don't respect our writing, how will we ever respect someone Else's? Deeper still, if we don't respect our writing, will anyone else?

Even if you have 5 minutes to eek out a few words, pay attention to them. Really pay attention. Why are you writing that? Why did you protagonist do that? I'm not saying we should question the revolution of the planet, but to simply pay attention to what's going on in your story.

I'm guilty of taking story for granted. I tend to breeze through the "sides" to get to the "main course". Guess what? It's all meat and potatoes. It has to be while we're writing it. If we treat every word we write with care, it will show in the finish product. Even if all the reader tastes is gravy ;)


  1. It's a rare thing to be brilliant the first time through, or the second.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  2. Interesting point! On the one hand, it's important to get it all down without letting your perfectionism stop you, but at the other end of the spectrum, if we don't give it the time and thought it deserves, it shows!!

  3. I agree, Lisa. When I first start writing, I just get it all down, without editing as I go (ok...TRYING VERY HARD not to edit as I go).

    But sometimes I need to slow down and chew on my words. That's usually around the fourth or fith draft!

  4. I agree with you there, but the more I write, the more I want to write.

    I have this hunger...

    Whoa. Sounded like a vamp just now.


  5. I feel like I'm always rushing. It would be great to slow down a bit!

  6. I'd love to have the wake up slowly day, shower for a long time, sit down at the computer and write. That never happens though, so I find the minutes I need in other places. I do need to pay attention more, though.

    Great post!

  7. I'd just like to wake up some days. :) And believe me when I say the moment you do slow down... life will trip you :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. I like the idea of slowing down, of savoring my writing more. Even if it's only a short time that I get to my manuscript or a short amount of words written, I can still respect that.

  9. What a beautiful dream, to wake up smile at the morning, shuffle into my office with floor to ceiling bookcases, dark mahogany desk, and comfy, fluffy, desk chair and savor the craft every single day...Ahhh...sorry got lost there for a minute. But! You're so right. We should enjoy even the couple seconds we have to scribble out an idea on a napkin even. Awesome point. Great reminder!

  10. I have the sneaky suspicion that if I did have all the time I needed, my writing would not be as good. I seem to work better under pressure!

  11. I have the sneaky suspicion that if I did have all the time I needed my writing wouldn't be as good - I work better under pressure!


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