You’re going to love this two-part post all about getting into the “write” headspace, by I C Publishing’s Cheryl Moore. Another recent member of our editing and coaching team, Cheryl brings with her an obvious passion for storytelling, and a sincere commitment to ensure a great connection between author and reader.
Although the setting begins in sunny Sarasota where Cheryl recently enjoyed a brief vacation from winter’s end back home in southern Ontario, don’t let that fool you. As I had hoped, she touches on the real life challenges that affect us when all we want to do is write.
On that note, I’ll pass the pen to Cheryl.
My hope and plan is to continue work on a book about an African journey I embarked on in 2008. Along the way, I include musings about my present life, and how it pertains to that journey just six short years ago.
Like many writers, getting in the “write” headspace involves removing oneself from the daily routines of life in order to allow our creative potential to be channeled. For me, this often means literally removing myself from my environment. This cannot always occur however, and so, ironically, I share this snip-it about my first few days here, in sunny Sarasota, to remind us all that even the best attempts to remove ourselves from the daily stresses and grinds are not always successful!
It was a difficult three days in the car. Chronic back issues kicked in as a result of the sitting, likely exacerbated from having our anxious little four-legged friend in tow on my lap. Upon arrival, we found the air conditioner nonoperational and our friend’s condo hot and stuffy after months of non-use. I report, with some frustration, that it took many calls home, and two days of service calls to get things in order. While under normal circumstances, I would usually hit the ground running with any problem presented in life, I did not seem capable this time around. Admittedly overloaded with familial stresses at home, I had very few reserves. To top it off, one of my siblings chose to address a long-standing relationship issue via email only twenty-four hours after my arrival. This was the unexpected and final “straw”!
A friend once gifted me with this mantra: “Expect the unexpected.” Hmmm, I mused … “I came to Florida ‘expecting’ to write; and after just a few minutes of arrival, entering into a state of centered calmness for the purpose of creative flow is the furthest thing from my mind.”
I dug deep to find the “lesson” in all the distractions that were keeping me from getting off on the “write” foot. Laughing, I recalled Sheri reminding me that “not everyone can get away from their everyday life, so don’t forget to focus on creating the necessary headspace regardless of circumstance.” Ahh, perhaps the Universe was playing a large trick on me. Perhaps I needed this very practical reminder that there are ways to rise above most situations to create the “write” space.
So how is it that we can create an environment that is somehow away from that of our daily life?
1. Consider Our Expectations:
First, we need to catch that very dangerous word, the one that caught me … Expectations. It’s not easy, but somehow we have to learn to put these aside, or at least recognize when they are present and playing a part in our efforts. This way, we can hopefully detach enough to observe them from a distance. We must also remember that the end result of our writing is often not what we expected it to be. For example, I surely did not expect to be writing about this experience of frustration on a long awaited and overdue holiday when Sheri invited me to contribute to the monthly blog!
2. Practice Centering:
Once we acknowledge our expectations, it helps to take a moment of quiet reflection to bring ourselves into a more centered place. To do this, I use an exercise I call the “five senses question.” This tool can help us create present moment awareness anytime we feel stress, helping to shift us into the space we require.
Here’s an example:
“What do I hear?” …The birds outside my window, curiously exciting to me because they are not familiar.
“What do I taste?”…The residual lingering coffee and a banana shake—remnants of breakfast. Their rich texture lies on my tongue, reminding me that I am blessed to have a full and satisfied belly.
“What do I see?”…The dense nature reserve behind me, lying large outside my balcony, and I am struck by the thickness of the trunk of a palm tree, and the skittering lizards that run up and down its length.
“What do I smell?”…Quite simply—the air!
“What do I feel?”…The breeze on my face and the warmth that I have missed amidst the past many months of winter at home.
Once I really breathe into this centered state of the present moment, and allow my mind/body to take in all that the senses will allow; all thoughts about the past and the future drop away. There is only this moment; it is perfect, and all is well. And when my mind/body drops into this “sensational” knowing, soon I am also connected to my heart and Spirit self, and the intuitive creative door opens easily.
Try this exercise to get you started on creating the “write” headspace, and join me again next month when I will offer an expanded use of this tool that will help your writing flow effortlessly!
Cheryl Moore is a social worker, healer, and entrepreneur, with a gift for creating meaningful relationships and rapport through writing. I’ve been honoured with Cheryl’s presence and professional contribution over many years, and I remember when we first met, with special fondness, her participation in the Women for Women 6 Figure Events I hosted between 2009 and 2012. Like the rest of our team, Cheryl is a perfect fit, offering a blend of exceptional knowledge, life experience, openness, respect, and thoughtfulness.
Stay tuned for part two, which will be published in May, and following that will be the kick-off to our Summer Blog Tour at the beginning of June!
Please reach out to us with questions you may have. Let us know what posts you find most helpful, and what other topics you’d like to hear more about.
Sheri and the I C Publishing Team