Ready to develop a disciplined writing style where mindfulness helps improve your voice, style, and message? These 8 key strategies for effective mindful writing will provide you with developing and learning new skills for writing well. These are practical strategies for making the most of your voice, style, and ensure the message is impacting and influencing your audience. Successful content development, writing, and publishing focuses on one’s ability to share their message that evokes emotional response to where the reader is engaged and ready to take action.
Effective mindful writing is important. If you are capable of developing daily disciplines to effectively write then you are capable of engaging in successful communication. This goes beyond the normal day-to-day writing styles we all utilize (i.e. Facebook, text message, emails, et al). Mindful writing is different from the common writing style we engage in.
Mindful writing requires one to pull their thoughts together so you are able to develop and support ideas and opinions. It also requires one to be aware of their own emotional thoughts and bias opinions on the subject and to express a more clear and definitive objective view point. With day-to-day writing, we share our thoughts and opinions without any judgment and explanation. However, when we write from a more mindful and practical way – we are to disengage in presumption, judgment, and criticism as we may not fully know what our audience may or may not understand. Mindful writing also helps us embrace our way of thinking as it relates to the message. How it evokes our own emotions and ways we have (or are willing to) respond to the message being shared.
Mindful writing also means we are to be objectively honest and aware of our weakness in grammar and punctuation. We must not assume that our audience is going to tolerate errors we may make in our writing. This includes grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, or other mechanics. How we write follows particular conventions and formats so that we are not producing shallow content that is filled with slang. It is not up to our audience to interpret what we are saying. It is up us as writers to communicate our own thoughts, emotions, expectations, values, and beliefs so that the audience has a full understanding of our message.
Therefore, this article will introduce you to the first key of orienting, organizing, and prioritizing these daily disciplines for effective and meaningful writing experience.
Orient, Organize, and Prioritize
Orient toward mindful and meditative discipline for effective writing
The most fundamental strategy for effective mindful writing is to orient oneself to the concept of what mindfulness is and how to incorporate a daily routine of meditation. Orienting to where there is a daily discipline of meditation helps us prepare for the writing session. It is a way for us to clear our mindset and open ourselves up to develop specific topics, stories, and content.
Shamash Alidina shares some strategies to orient oneself toward mindful writing. Her article – A Mindful Writing Practice for Those Who Like to Keep Doing – provides the following format:
- Set a timer for 30 minutes and establish a designated time to use the initial part of your writing to detox . Alidina shares that when we use writing to detox our superfluous thoughts – we are opening ourselves up to explore those thoughts with curiosity.
- Utilizing your typewriter (if you happen to own one great) or computer keyboard, close your eyes and let your fingers type out those thoughts as they traverse the landscape of your mind. What imagery do you see? She also shares that if you do not have a computer, or feel more comfortable using a notepad and pen or pencil – to keep your eyes open and allow your thoughts room to breath and write them down.
- Alidina recommends that when you come to a stop at a full sentence – take a moment to breath deeply in and then exhale out (simple breathing exercise is the basic form of meditation). She also recommends recalling warm emotions (like seeing a happy puppy) and not necessarily focus on positivity. And, if you happen to start yawning, or find yourself falling asleep – per Alidina – you may have needed this rest.
- There is no set agenda to focus on. No specific message to share. Simply permit yourself to allow your writing to emerge . And, she advises to find your own way to incorporate this type of strategy to orient yourself to where you experience what it is like to write mindfully and meditatively.
- As funny as it sounds – ever watch those movies where the actor is learning martial arts, or learning a new form of martial art discipline? It always comes down to breathing. Same with meditative and mindful writing. Orienting ourselves toward deep breathing while writing as it helps us keep ourselves relaxed and focused.
These are good strategies to help orient and engage in the discipline of mindful writing. And, the benefits of mindful writing helps us:
- Feel relaxed and happy
- Mind is calm and at peace
- Gently move into a meditative state without force
- It is something different each writer may be able to explore and have fun with
The goal is to orient toward daily discipline of practicing mindfulness and meditative writing. This keeps us sharp and focused on our craft.
Organize your writing space and eliminate any distractions
C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has an article on Organizing Your Writing Workplace For Better Productivity. This article was a guest post by Lesley Vos. It explores the importance of establishing a space that helps an individual achieve better productivity with their writing.
And, since productivity is a holy grail for writers, we want to respect our craft enough to establish an environment where we are motivated and inspired to write. Vos shares her own personal freelance writing journey and how she only written 5,000 words while sitting in her bed with a cup of coffee. The influence our environment has impacts our ability to share our message. Develop and craft a solid plot and characters. Explore emotions and thoughts.
Vos shares her insights in how she set up two different zones and the effectiveness it has helped with her writing. One zone is designated with her need to rest and relax. The other is for her writing. Vos also recommends to establish boundaries – without sacrifice breaks, meals, and other obligations. Healthy boundaries for writing is how we are to maintain organization and structure. And, as much as we want to admit it to ourselves, our writing is not the only priority in our lives.
Here are the things Vos shares as far as strategies in organizing and improving our writing space for greater productivity. These may work for some. Here are some alternative suggestions that may help improve writing and productivity.
- Keep your desk and writing area free from clutter
- Have inspiring pictures up
- Ensure you have everything you need and within reach
- Ensure your environment is comfortable
- Listen to music that is instrumental (because you don’t want to get distracted with Karaoke Style)
- Establish and maintain boundaries for your writing time and space
- Stay off social media and all other messaging services
- Leave the television off
Probably the most difficult aspect of getting organized is eliminating any distractions. Jennifer Blanchard has a guest post by Mariana Ashley where she provides these 10 strategies to avoid distractions while writing:
- Write by hand
- Use an Internet Freezing App
- Turn off your smartphone
- Go to your writing place
- Prep your mind and body (mindfulness and meditation)
- Take care of the necessities first
- Write every morning
- Leave an unfinished sentence at the end of your writing session
- Listen to music or white noise (I typically have Pandora going on my Roku with either Deep Forest type instrumental music or Smooth Jazz).
- Avoid comparing yourself to other’s (especially if you belong to a writing community through social media or online)
Looking at these ten strategies, one finds additional support with establishing a daily discipline and routine of writing. Engaged in mindfulness and meditative practices associated with writing. Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries to be productive with the writing session.
What is missing is getting adequate rest and taking a writing sabbatical as part of organizing and structuring your space and time.
Prioritizing: A simple to-do list to help you focus and meet productive writing goals
There are several instances where individuals ask whether or not taking on too many writing projects is helpful. Short answer is no. Long answer – still not a healthy way to overwhelm yourself with too many writing projects. This includes the artful and creative balancing act of life, work, family, and one’s passion for writing. So, it is not merely enough to establish a way to prioritize one’s writing. It is a means to develop a way to balance one’s obligations and the writing endeavor.
Sarah Rhea Werner has a podcast episode on How to prioritize Your Writing. There, she explores the same strategies this article series will explore when it comes to discussing the effectiveness of managing time. Here is a brief preview of what she observes and advises:
- Make a list of all your priorities (work responsibilities, family obligations, free time, and writing)
- Reflect on your list and rank each item based on how meaningful and valuable it is for you
- Be real about your time – it is a precious commodity
- Give your bigger tasks and responsibilities the attention and respect they deserve
- Plan to take a time off for self-care
- Be accountable for how you are managing your time
- Be patient and compassionate toward self
The American Psychological Association has an article on how Making Writing a Priority influences our goals and habits. The first aspect is to understand one’s barriers to writing.
Probably the most significant barrier is our own illusion of having to be in the right mood to write. Unfortunately, we may never be in the right mood to sit down and dedicate time for writing. Instead, we need to overcome the barrier and make the necessary time to write. This dedicated time is valuable and helps us focus on maintaining active and daily discipline in writing effectively. Being present focused and mindful of any potential distractions. Yet, we do not want to fall in the trap of making writing our main priority while other responsibilities are neglected.
Overcoming our barriers to writing impacts our ability to engage in realistic time-management where we have scheduled dedicated time. Prioritizing also means we establish S.M.A.R.T Goals and milestones. And, finally, prioritizing the dedicated time to meditate and mindfully allow ourselves some time to detox our thoughts out onto paper.
Creating a simple to-do list is not complicated. There are many different techniques. Utilizing scheduler’s, Calendars, or even Day-Planners may help you focus your attention on maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle that incorporates daily writing. While we do not want to neglect our writing, we also do not want to neglect all other responsibilities.
Therefore, exploring ways to orient ourselves. Develop an organized space and dedicated time for writing. And implement healthy balance and time management to prioritize responsibilities motivates our commitment toward effective mindful writing.
Steps to take today to begin implementing mindful writing disciplines and strategies
For the next week take a day to set aside some time to reflect on this article (and hopefully you’ve taken down some notes and checked out the articles linked throughout this content). When you are ready follow these steps to orient, organize, and prioritize.
- Establish a daily routine and practice of mindful meditative practice – best way is to start with simple breathing techniques.
- Decide on a specific area you want to dedicate as your writing space and begin organizing what you need to be productive
- Establish healthy boundaries when establishing some dedicated time for writing and respect those boundaries
- Focus on simple writing exercises (if you are following the weekly writing challenges – this is a good way to establish daily writing disciplines).
- Follow through with your commitment to establish a healthy writing discipline by being patient
Next week we will focus on Initial Strategies to establish a daily writing routine. Be sure to comment on how this article is helpful for you. Share it with others (and remind them that this content is subscription based). Share your progress in following these strategies.
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