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How Mindfulness Makes You a Better Writer

Today’s guest post is by Susan Saurel.

Mindfulness. That word is everywhere, right? People who believe in it perceive it as the cure for all ills of wrongs we see in contemporary societies.

But what is mindfulness, exactly? One definition is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.”

We know how important it is to live in the present moment. However, we also know how difficult it is to commit to that goal. The mind either processes memories or visualizes the future. It misses the now. We’re missing valuable moments that we’ll never live through again.

How is the concept of mindfulness related to writing, anyway?

I can speak from personal experience: practicing mindfulness makes me more productive.

I become more focused on the work I’m doing at the moment. I can process thoughts and emotions without getting attached to them. It helps me recognize and break the bad habits that are affecting my writing. Mindfulness makes me a better writer in many different ways. Continue Reading…

Are You Sabotaging Your Writing Because of Perfectionism?

You sit down to write. Finally, you found some time to work on your book. You feel prepared; you’ve thought through the scene or talking point you want to tackle today. You’ve cleared your plate—the kids are at school, the dishes are done, and you’ve dealt with your email.

But as you open your Word doc on your computer and your fingers hover over the keyboard, a sense of unease trickles in.

The eager anticipation starts to feel like dread, and the doubts form into excuses. “Maybe I need to think through this scene a bit more.” Or “I probably should do a bit more research before I start.” Or, even worse: “It’s going to suck.” Continue Reading…

How Writing Can Assist Sufferers of Mental Illness

Today’s guest post is by Cassandra Hawkings

 “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” —Virginia Woolf

 Like medicine and professional therapy, writing is the perfect choice for assisting sufferers of mental illness.

Do you have a relative or friend who has a mental illness? I have. My father has depression. A few years ago, he had a nervous breakdown. I remember waking up on a Sunday morning to my father crying and shouting.

In the months and years that followed, the situation was difficult to live with on a day-to-day basis. He would talk to no one except my sister, and it was painful.

When I was upset, I used to type out a few sentences in a Word document. It would help me feel stronger. It felt unbelievable to be able to get my frustrations off my chest. Even now, it is still difficult. However, I’ve managed to dive through it. Continue Reading…

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