Please give a warm welcome to Charlotte!
Hello Katie, Thank you for the opportunity to visit your informative blog.
I thought I’d talk about something I learned right before I wrote my recent novella, Forever in a Moment...
Yes, transcendental meditation.
I wrote this novella fast. As all authors know, having the spark of a good idea for a story is just the very beginning of seeing that project come to fruition. Oftentimes the writing of a book, even a short one, is stalled at some stage, often the middle, or in the editing rounds.
This was not the case for me in the writing of this novella. It flowed in less than a month. After thinking about why I had the focus to hear my characters tell their stories so clearly, I realized, I’d begun the practice of TM around the same time.
I am as skeptical as the next person, probably more so given that I’m a New Yorker, but I will try to explain how TM helps me as a human and as a writer. We all need a method for dealing with the stresses of life in general and in particular, work life, family life and for me, life in NYC. Exercise is great for that and I love to walk. Still after talking about TM for months, I took the opportunity to learn TM from Bob Roth, a pre-eminent teacher/practitioner. Bob Roth’s book Strength in Stillness is a quick read that explains his entry into TM and the basics of the practice.
Here’s what I learned. TM is not a religion. It’s not meant to replace the spirituality of one’s religion. I am a lapsed Catholic and I still pray. A lot. I learned TM is practiced by people in all walks of life and has some famous adherents. Here is Jerry Seinfeld on George Stephanopoulos with Bob Roth explaining TM in his inimitable way.
Ideally, one finds a quiet space to practice TM for two, 20-minute sessions but often all I have time for is one 20-minute session before I get started in the morning. Even this is difficult for so many. Perhaps, like Jerry Seinfeld midday is a better time. I’ve done TM in a garden (the best) and in the airport. And yes, there is a mantra.
TM helps one find the strong self under the noise. One great analogy is that with TM one can dive under the churning surface of the ocean of daily life into the cool, flowing, soothing calm beneath the waves. The benefits are both mental and physical because reducing stress helps strengthen the immune system.
Now of course for any endeavor including writing, nothing replaces showing up and getting the job done. But with TM, I show up as a more focused me and get the job done quicker and better.
I’m curious what other authors do to spark creativity and gain focus?
Thank for joining me, Charlotte! And for sharing one of your secrets. You can find Charlotte's latest book on AMAZON (highly recommend) and find Charlotte online in the following spots:
Leave a comment below on how you spark your creativity, and come back Friday for an uber-short excerpt - a teaser, if you will - from Forever in a Moment, by Charlotte O'Shay. (better yet, go grab your copy on Amazon and read it this weekend!)
Happy Writing - and Reading - to all!