Using Mindfulness Techniques to Write

Mindful Listening and Watching

The acts of listening and watching do not seem to involve a lot of action. But, to listen and to watch are action words. It’s just that because of screens, social media and all of these demands for attention, it becomes easy to forget that activity is taking place when there is a Facebook video on.

The eyes, ears and mind are very active in these times. This post is not suggesting to eliminate Facebook or any other sources of stimulation, but just to pay attention to them closely.

I am going to choose to just listen and take note with my eyes closed of my surroundings. I hear different sounds and each creates a picture in my mind.

I can later create poems, songs or writing based upon those images and any corresponding emotions to either replicate the initial mood or converse with it to create an opposing mood. Let’s say that I am outside in a pleasant garden and I hear birds chirping, breezes flowing and leaves rustling. Later, I can write lines of poetry about that and superimpose imagery in lines describing the opposite of tranquility which is discord.

Mindful Reading

When reading, it is easy to skim along trying to get to the point, a decent quotation or the resolution to the drama. When using mindfulness, it is necessary to slow down.

I had to take a piece of paper or two and force myself to write down what I was reading. This mindfulness practice saved me in school and at work. At work, I would receive instructions from an editor and I would copy out, word for word, what was discussed in order to store that and better understand it.

For an interesting book, it can be helpful to do the same. Copying out lines of description, action or dialogue can aid in committing the passages that make a specific impact to memory. This will help develop vocabulary, grammar and aid in comprehension. After copying out the lines, mindful reading means asking questions about what has been copied. Why was this effective? How did I feel when I read this? How does this fit with the rest of the document?

Mindful reading can add an extra layer of enjoyment to reading. Then, later when writing, similar techniques, words and emotions can be used that were first noticed while reading with mindfulness.

Mindfulness and Poetry

Poetry is honesty and life. Mindfulness helps with becoming aware of what surrounds one and what is inside of one. There are mindfulness techniques that put one in touch with the body. The body has pain, discomfort or it has delight and comfort. In becoming mindful of these states of the body, dimensions can be added to confessional poetry.

There are poets that use feelings of the body to add sensory feeling to their poems. This technique is very effective. For example, when describing how the body feels, it is helpful to add details relating to what was noticed while one was being mindful. My skin felt dry like the kiss of an insect. OR My skin felt wet like a cool pond in Summer.

Mindfulness and Mental Recovery

Mindfulness means one thing: paying attention without judgment. That’s it. There is a lot to that, though. It is important to keep from tuning out to the things that influence one’s mental state. People who want to stay connected have to stay tuned in.

With mindfulness, one can add to one’s compassion for oneself and others by realizing that everyone in the world has similarities that center on needs for peace and autonomy, joy and friendship.

By writing mindfully, authors can create beauty. Why create? Why do authors create? Each writer has a different answer. By using mindfulness, the purpose of one’s specific writing can served whether it is writing a birthday card to a friend or a TedX Talk for a thousand people. Each purpose has its own right to exist.

I am here to do the work, not judge the work.

Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way
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