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Training the Writing Mind


If a writer wants to have a constant flow of ideas for stories, there are a number of ways of training his or her mind so that its first instinct is to receive inspiration.

The aim would be to develop a resonance with the inner environment of the imagination. It’s possible to take an approach to this which can become a primal habit.

Spotting that one can receive inspiration almost all the time is the beginning of a writer’s inner life.

One of the first things that writers could do each day is receive inspiration as a conscious ‘drill’ or exercise.

1. Instead of checking news on their phones or messages on social media, think peacefully about the day, their bodies, their time, those around them. Just for a few minutes.

2. They should check the quietnesses of uninhabited, unoccupied spaces in the room, the house, the surrounding area, in order to latch onto the wavelengths of the imagination.

3. They should paint pictures into the mental space they call ‘the future’.

4. Importantly, they should note down ideas and fragments of ideas to motivate themselves through the day.

The inner universe is full; the trick is to contact it.

Spend time in nature. Walk in the woods without regard to time, wandering.

Spend time alone.

Shut off notifications on your phone for fixed periods.

Don't stay comfortable in what you write — push your limits from time to time. Try writing in a genre unfamiliar to you — it doesn’t matter if no one reads your efforts.

Forgive people, or think about why you think you can’t.

Plant seeds in the form of notes and fragments in notebooks all over the place.

Be patient. Take it easy on yourself.

To move from the outer world of social distractions to the inner world of the overflowing imagination, one only needs to recognise that one is projecting attention onto the outer world actively. Ease off. Often, this will mean you will drift off to sleep, such has been the grip of that outer world. But soon enough you will see the inner images and flows instead.

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