Not long ago, I discovered a new term “mindfulness” to apply to my everyday life. It basically means what it implies. On one level it means paying attention to details of what’s going on around you at any given time, but on a much deeper level it brings your conscious awareness to a “moment-by-moment” basis. It’s where you pay attention to what’s happening right now, but in a non-judgmental way and allowing things to be what they are to you.
Writing is demanding, but an absolutely fulfilling profession. I’ve found myself taking part in standard Yoga stretches to ground myself and begin my day. I’ve recently taken it a step further by using the meditation technique of mindfulness to de-stress and balance my mind and body. I have a tendency for anxiety, so I wanted to reward myself with healing down times. It’s been quite effective and I look forward to it everyday. I highly suggest checking out Mindful Yoga.
I wanted to take the “in the moment” or “mindfulness” into my writing. I’m currently working on my fourth Emily Stone Novel, where the term thriller is taken to new levels with an arson serial killer and an assassin. By taking an experience along with emotion and observation, you can build a thrilling scene.
As I’ve briefly outlined my chapters and scenes, I’ve found myself creating the suspense and tension of the storyline. I take a moment to view from Emily Stone’s perspective of “in the moment”.
For example, she’s found a new clue that can track down the killer. What does she do? How will she move forward in a moment-by-moment way? I break down the scene into action/reaction from beginning to end. The beginning is when she finds the clue and the end is the result I want her to accomplish. What are some of the observations, emotions, and details she can accomplish in this particular task?
You can take this writing task a step further into your own day. Write the “in the moment” observations of a typical day for you. Create a scene when you run errands, watch your favorite movie, or take a lunch break with a friend. Write everything down that you observe. What are the moment-by-moment actions that happen? I think you’ll begin to see a different perspective with all of your characters.
I’ve found that by writing in the moment, you discover not only things about yourself but also about your characters in your stories. The next time you feel that little procrastination bug nipping at you, pull back, and write in the moment.
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