The mindful writer

Robed man meditating

The “mindful writer” can keep a novel on track while minimizing the great consumers of time: writer’s block and rewrites.

Mindfulness is a practice, not a sweat session. Over weeks and months, you can train you mind to better focus on purpose, the reader, Point Of View, story arcs, and plot.

The Practice

Choose one of the five types of  meditation questions. Have those questions or your own short list open in front of you.

Set a timer for 3-10 minutes.

Sit and relax any tension that you feel. Recognize the sensations of weight and pressure as gravity keeps you seated.

Meditate on the questions that you chose.

Other thoughts will intrude. You might lapse into daydreams, regrets, or worries many times. That’s okay! You are practicing awareness of those distractions. Mindfulness meditation is awareness training to help you better focus on storytelling.

Each time you realize other thoughts have intruded, return to awareness of sitting and awareness of the questions that you chose.

Meditation questions

Consider taking a mindfulness break to meditate on any of these topics. Results will grow along with your page count over the weeks and months that it takes to write a novel!
  • Will this story entertain or inspire the reader? — or does it have a different purpose?
  • How will this novel accomplish the purpose(s) you intend?
  • Who will be reading your novel?
  • How will reading this story change them?
  • At the beginning of the story, what was the POV character’s greatest need?
  • In the scene you’re writing, what does the POV character want?
  • What obstacles are in the way?
  • Which events of this novel transform the central character, between the first scene and the last?
  • In which ways do other characters experience change?
  • Which events and interactions trigger the most significant changes?
  • How does this novel begin and end?
  • Why is this scene essential to this novel?
  • Does this scene logically fit in this place?