Sunday, March 01, 2015

Empty Mind

"Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it."--Dee Hock
"Once you are empty then there is no barrier for the divine to enter in you." - Osho
It may sound like a contradiction to try to empty your mind when you write.
After all, if your mind is “empty,” how can you possibly find the words and images you need to set down on paper?
But I’d like to suggest that these words and images can only begin to surface once you’ve cleared the screen of your mind of other distractions.

By “empty mind,” I mean emptying it of the thoughts and images that have the power of keeping you from or taking you out of your story, such as:
* The weekly list of groceries that you need to pick up;

* The afternoon doctor’s appointment;

* Your daughter’s after-school soccer game;

* The speech you promised to give to the local PTA tomorrow;

* Tonight’s class that you have to prepare to teach;

* Your worries about money, relationships, health, etc.
While these are important matters and essential to the lives that we are living, they serve as distractions to the writing that we want to do.

Empty mind means setting priorities so that your writing comes first rather than last--somewhere after “pick up frozen peas”--on your list of things to do today.

Empty mind means being willing to let go of the world of everyday activities and worries in order to explore the world of your imagination.

How can you arrive at an empty mind, a mind that is blank and waiting for words to fill it?

It takes a willingness to slow down and listen to your breath.

It takes a stubborn determination to sit at your desk (or stand at your new standing desk) and wait for the images of your story to begin emerging onto the page.

It takes the desire to plunge fully into a story no matter how cold the water feels and swim into the unknown rather than cling to the shoreline, afraid of what might happen if you let go.

Empty mind does not mean empty page.

Rather, it means fullness, ripeness, possibility.

If you wait with patience and faith, your mind will empty, and words will come.