Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tips and Tricks for writing: Breathing

This month we’re talking tips and tricks for writing that book. The best advice I ever heard, read, saw, or repeated is simple: Finish the Damn Book. I think NJRW even had a t-shirt printed with that logo a few years ago. It’s simple and yet elegant in its simplicity.

My advice to finish your damn book is to breathe. I’m serious but will get to that in a sec.

What stops you finishing a book? Time? A life? All good excuses, but they’re just excuses. I’m the first to acknowledge the busyness that is life, but even an hour a day can move that book forward. Now I’m not suggesting you get up an hour earlier, unless you’re a morning person (which I’m definitely not) nor am I suggesting you not exercise but write instead. That’s just counterproductive.

Take your lunch, take 30 minutes after dinner. Have kids? They have to go to bed sometime. Schedule it into your day. At first it’ll be near impossible to find the time, but if you’re committed to writing, to finishing that book, then you’ll do it. Bitching and all.

Ok, so now you’re in front of our computer, that annoying little curses is flashing at you rather mockingly as it sits on an empty white page.


Instead of tossing the curser, monitor and all, onto the floor, at the wall, or down the steps, figure out what’s stopping you from typing your fingers to the bone with the kick ass story you have. The trick is to breathe.


Are you breathing correctly? From deep within your belly, not just your chest. Take 60 seconds and do this. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, in through your nose, out through your mouth, deep breaths that seem to fill your body. (I learned this from a Reiki instructor who is also heavily into qiqong. She’s amazing.)

As you breathe, imagine all the positive energy (qi/chi) flow through your body. Have a headache? (I’m prone to migraines myself.) Then with eyes closed, breathing deeply, imagine the positive energy you’re breathing in flooding the specific area of the headache and dissolving it. Back pain? Same thing.

In with the good, out with the bad.

Shoulders still relaxed? All those tensed muscles in your forehead smooth? Feeling better? Now put fingers on keyboard and get to it!

I also recommend meditation music, your choice of course depending on taste, but true meditation music may help. Tibetan Meditation Music, Gregorian Chant for Meditation, Quigang Chen: Iris Devoilee, Qigang Chen: Extase

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