|Sure, Zoe looks like she's napping, but she's really imagining her next novel.|
Last month I took part in a challenge to meditate every day. After the challenge of blogging every day in April, I really needed the relax vibes. Jodi from Soul Speak hosted the challenge and now I'm a big fan of her blog. There's always something inspirational or insightful to find there. I'm completely hooked on meditation now and it has helped my writing in so many ways. You can meditate on your own, but I like to use guided recordings or hypnosis audiobooks.
Here's some reasons to try meditation or hypnosis.
- Relax - You write, you blog, tweet, message, market, research, etc, etc. Writing a book involves a lot more than sitting quietly at the keyboard, feet in slippers, tapping away with a nice hot cuppa or glass of red (although I suspect many of our relatives assume that's what we're doing). There's so much to fit into each day. My own to-do list currently includes finishing two WIPs, organising the paperback copy of My Zombie Dog, planning a launch, researching development programs, editing another piece, reading up on formatting for iBooks, homework and creating workshop activities, oh, and blog. Sometimes I just need a breather, take a moment of peace and stillness, so I can come back refreshed and ready to keep going. Listening to my hypnosis recording before bed enables me to fall into a deeper sleep and wake feeling like I can take on another workload for the day.
- Imagine - I usually fall asleep before my recording finishes, but always have vivid dreams after listening. Many times I get plot ideas from these dreams for characters, plots or short stories. Most recording are vague and may include talk about walking in the countryside or relaxing in a rainforest, this step takes you from seeing yourself on your bed or in your comfy chair to exploring a setting, where you go from there is up to you. Either record your dreams the next morning, or (if you're able to stay awake through the experience) write in your journal straight afterwards, explore your thoughts and feelings.
- Inspire - I'm sure I'm not the only one here who occasionally feels down. I pour so much energy into a first draft, but when I'm done, the best I can hope for is pretty ordinary. Now, I know the magic comes in the rewriting and the fine tuning, but it can still be disappointing. Sometimes I make mistakes (like the first version of My Zombie Dog that was released with errors - gasp!) and although I know I'll make plenty more, and this is a chance to learn and amend, I can still feel negative. Meditation, hypnosis and affirmations are a good way of building myself up again. For me, the key to a good affirmation is truth. I don't tell myself I'll be taller or funnier or smarter than I am, but I acknowledge my accomplishments and where they can take me.
- Discover - Try meditation or hypnosis and you could discover something really cool - you. By looking inward and exploring your thoughts on your story, the process of writing, what you've been reading etc, you'll find something special. You'll discover your authentic voice. Voice changes depending on our protagonist, their age, occupation, gender, nationality, etc. But YOUR voice doesn't. This is your writing style, the element in each of your novels that identifies them as yours. You want readers to recognise your voice because this is ultimately how you create fans.
Not sure where to start? There are plenty of free podcasts on iTunes on hypnosis and guided meditation, include the search words creativity or writing and you'll find some good ones. You can also get audiobooks on iTunes, or Audible. Here are some I use:
Maggie Dubris' Inspired Novel: Creativity Hypnosis for Writers - Maggie has several creative hypnosis recordings and I have them all. This is my favourite. Maggie gets you to visualise having your novel finished in your mind, now all you need to do is write it.
Robin Moor's The Natural Born Writer - This recording takes you on a guided voyage (by boat!) to an imaginative setting, you meet with interesting characters and create story as you go. A good one to do and then record your findings.
Nicki Scully's Becoming An Oracle - If you're new to guided meditation, you may find this one a bit weird, but Scully's guided journey to ancient Egypt have really helped me to get a feel for my character in her original setting (my current character lived with Isis). There are several different journeys to take with this recording and although I don't 'feel' the whole oracle belief, I do feel inspired by the characters I create in these settings.
Glen Harrold's Ultimate Guide to Creative Meditation - I've just started with this tape and find some of the echo techniques a bit distracting, but I'm starting to get used to it and do feel quite imaginative afterwards.
Here's one from Youtube you can try:
Here's one from Youtube you can try:
Do you meditate? Want to give it a go?