Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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March 11, 2019

Inviting Creativity Through Meditation

Christina Delay

How many of you meditate?

It’s a practice we’ve started building into our family evenings each night, and something I hope to one day be good at. Meditation is good for managing anxiety, depression, stress. It’s also good for learning to be open to new ideas and people who may be threatening to our own ideals.

And really, that’s what being a creative is all about. Being open.

I recently did a virtual creativity retreat with Creative Wellness Retreats, and our creativity coach, Kerry Schafer, led us through a guided meditation, but at the end, she did something I wasn’t used to.

She geared the meditation toward our creative projects.

I started the meditation not feeling excited about my project because I’d hit a bit of a wall, and by the end of the meditation I’d not only found renewed energy for the story, but for the entire creative process.

That particular meditation was two days ago, as of this writing, and I’m still feeling the positive effects. And it took less than 5 minutes.

What is meditation?

I feel like a lot of people think meditation is some new-age, woo-woo thing that only hippies and hipsters do.

Not so.

Meditation is an ancient practice to transform the mind. That sounds woo-woo. Let me try again.

Meditation is a thing that’s been around since forever and is a way to train your brain to be aware of your own thoughts and emotions.

Not zone out or go to your nothing box. But to learn how to observe your thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and begin to understand them and yourself better.

See? Not woo-woo.

Writing is a form of meditation.

I think that’s why so many of us first turned to writing. We had a need to understand some deep emotion or reaction or thought we didn’t have the words for. And our stories were a way to help us dig down into that feeling or reaction or thought until we found the center of truth.

When you meditate, you turn off your worry, anxiety, negativity, and when you’re on the other side of it, you have a new perspective. It’s a little like sunlight pouring through a window. After meditation, the light reaches that angle where the window turns it into a rainbow.

Could meditating speed up your writing process?

Think of how much deeper you could go with your writing if you started your writing session by first meditating for five minutes. Even better? Present yourself with the next scene or story problem at the start of your meditation, then, through the practice of meditation, let it go. Let it flow. Then let it come back and present itself to you in a new light.

Other forms of meditation...

Meditation isn’t a rigid practice. Sometimes, meditation can be a simple as listening to the wind blow through the trees, or breathing while watching the ocean. Even reading can be a form of meditation, when it takes you away from your worry and allows you to reflect on your own reactions and thoughts to the story, and your life.

Before your next writing session, try five minutes of meditation and invite your creative project to join you. I think you’ll be surprised at the renewed energy you’ll find.

About Christina Delay

Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and the brand new Creative Wellness Retreats as well as an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. She may also have a new series out with Jules Lynn under a pen name. When she's not cruising the Caribbean, she's dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or giving into the demands of imaginary people to tell their stories.

About Cruising Writers

Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world. Cruise with us to the Bahamas this November with Alexandra Sokoloff of the internationally-renowned Screenwriting Tricks for Fiction Authors, Kerry Anne King - Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author, and Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.

26 comments on “Inviting Creativity Through Meditation”

  1. I don’t meditate, per se, but I ask myself a specific question, before I fall asleep, about my WIP. My brain has an answer more often than not, when I wake. I do meditate sometimes, to calm myself, when I get wound up. Powerful post, Christina!

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you! And I do that, too! But I find that often I sleep so deeply that it rarely works for me. Meditation has been a lot more effective to me, and faster!

    2. Hey Laura - I love asking those questions, too. The subconscious loves to work them out for me - not always while I sleep but I ask those questions throughout the day as well. No better feeling than when the answers pop up seemingly out of nowhere!

  2. Great post, Christina. I started meditating before writing several months ago, and I have found it a wonderful way to clear and calm my mind before approaching my WIP each morning. I also use Laura’s technique of setting a story problem before sleep to allow my subconscious to work on things overnight— makes for interesting dreams sometimes!

  3. Thanks for the awesome post. I have wanted to learn how to meditate for awhile. I have tried in the past and never follow through. Looks like this is my push to learn.

    1. Good luck, Carol! It took me a while to jump into it as well. There are some great apps out there to help you get started. I use the CALM app and love it!

    2. Hey Carol! I had a hard time getting started too - until I figured out that even one minute is helpful. I added it in to the beginning of my yoga practice, and then again just before I go to bed.

  4. I meditate at least once a day but didn't think about doing it as I sit down to write. Great suggestion! Thanks! Now is the time, so here I go.

    1. That's awesome, Barb! I think meditation can be used in so many different ways that we haven't thought of. Rather than trying to "quiet the mind" inviting it to take us into our creative space.

  5. If I experience a financial windfall, I'm going on that cruise! Otherwise, I'll just wave and wish.

    This was a wonderful post, that made me yearn. So far, meditation hasn't worked for me. (Obviously I need Kerry!) I tried to meditate for creativity. I bought an entire program on it and dug in, listening to the audio and doing the breathing, clearing my mind of distractions.

    I fell asleep. Every. Time. It was incredibly relaxing. However, it was not productive AT ALL, so I stopped. I would go back to it if I had 5 minutes of Kerry, but the other programs I've tried? Not so much.

    1. Hey Jenny - if you're falling asleep during meditation, there is a very definite possibility that you are sleep deprived and your brain and body are grabbing on to the opportunity when it presents. In which case - napping during meditation might be good for you and more productive than you think!

      You could also try a moving meditation, like walking, which will likely keep you awake. 🙂

      I've been known to fall asleep listening to long meditations too. You are not alone!

    2. You know, I don't think that's the worst thing on the planet, LOL! Being relaxed, clearing your mind of worry, gently falling asleep...seems like a good thing to me! But...maybe the shorter ones are a good place to start!

      And you KNOW I'd love to have you on that cruise ;)!

  6. I've been meditating for more than a decade. Sometimes more than an hour a day, sometimes not at all, but I've found not only my life, but my writing, stay on track and thrive when my meditation practice is "steady." It doesn't have to be "long," just consistent. Five to ten minutes will do it, though an hour spread throughout the day is wonderful. It's like cleaning your kitchen. I'm more willing to make an amazing meal waif my kitchen is clean. Same with that blank slate of the mind when I sit down to write. Thanks, Christina!

  7. I was such a skeptic about meditation, unable to do it well for so many years. But lately, I've been working on it, and I agree that it's a great experience for focusing your creativity. Thanks for highlighting this! (And the book looks fantastic! 😉 )

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