Free Write: Brew or Brood

I was late with this post on Friday because my power plug croaked and I didn’t even know it. By the time I figured out that my Mac hadn’t died, I lost a day’s work. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the end of the world. It gave me time to brew, that is, think, off line. I realized a few things about writing. One being that I write because I can’t not write. Is this true for you too?

There is an upside to not rushing to write.  We have the choice to brew, letting ideas steep before churning them into paragraphs or pages. We just have to take care that brew doesn’t turn into brood, staring blankly at the page or screen, obsessing about our failings as a writer and person, allowing self-loathing to set in and poison our pen.  Take a brew break:

  1. Have pen and paper nearby. Settle into a comfortable posture, allowing the breath to come and go deeply.
  2. When a kind of spacious stillness starts to edge out the thinking mind, pose a question about an issue in your life or writing. Hold the question with an intention for clarity, which is more helpful than waiting for an answer. 
  3. Before opening your eyes, resolve to take some action, whether it’s writing a list or that paragraph. Then, take your pen and write. 

About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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