Cultivating The Habit of Writing
“Creating the practicing mind comes down to a few simple rules:
Keep yourself process-oriented.
Stay in the present.
Make the process the goal and use the overall goal as a rudder to steer your efforts.
Be deliberate, have an intention about what you want to accomplish, and remain aware of that intention.”
I have been a professional writer for almost 10 years, and a storyteller for a lifetime. Yet, I struggle with creating on a regular basis [as I confessed yesterday]. My struggle revolves around my lack of a "writing practice." Or rather, my difficulties tie into my lack of a "practicing mind."
Like many professional authors, I give myself goals, write to deadlines, and set out with the best of intensions. And like many professional artists who balance a busy life filled with multiple jobs, multiple responsibilities, I often lose focus, miss my targeted goals, or otherwise struggle to achieve all the things.
Until this year.
2018 is all about "process" for me - developing my writing practice, approaching all aspects of my life from a process perspective, and being more mindful. I have long intuitively believed that I would function better with a consistent writing practice. After finishing Big Magic and The Practicing Mind, I know that I must have this in place. I need a time and place in which I sit at my table or desk, clear my mind of distractions and focus my intention on writing.
I can complete specific writing exercises [to develop craft], work on a particular project [to meet writing goals] or write my blog posts [to connect more with readers and other writers]. Regardless of what the content is, I need to habituate myself to the loving practice of my art. As I do, I will cultivate the practicing mind I want to have as part of my creative process.
So far this month, I have used these blog posts as a way to ensure consistent action. And I am hitting my benchmarks. In February, I am adding specific writing projects and goals to guide my practice. I am also increasing my mindfulness and strengths practices to enhance this process.
As I get further along this road, I will let you know how it goes. At this point, I am very optimistic that my larger goal of living a more creative life and writing more books will happen.
In truth, it already is!
Do you have a consistent writing practice?