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!
I always enjoy your blog Katie. Thanks for having me today.ReplyDelete
Charlotte, this is so cool. I've always been a big fan of finding the quiet in the chaos, but I never realized meditating could help with writing. I'm gonna give it a go! Well done. And p.s. I loveloveloved FOREVER IN A MOMENT!ReplyDelete
Yes an unintended effect for me because I was simply seeking something to help with stress. Thanks for your kind words about Forever in a Moment!Delete
Charlotte, I’m a TM practitioner too although I’ve slacked off in recent years. You’ve inspired me to start again!ReplyDelete
Hi Laura, Yes it is difficult to keep it going but well worth it I think.Delete
I don't do TM, but I do meditate every morning before I start my day. I find doing it super early helps me and keeps my stress levels down. I can't write that early though, my brain isn't working yet. :) But I might have to try it before I sit and write later in the day. Interesting idea!ReplyDelete
Jerry Seinfeld said he meditated for years during the lunch breaks on his show..midday works too.Delete
Good morning Charlotte and Katie! I found your info on TM interesting. For me a long walk with my dog around the neighborhood usually gets the creative juices flowing. Seeing the changes in the area as the seasons change, as people move in and out is inspiring. Good luck with Forever in a Moment! A book I enjoyed!ReplyDelete
I agree Tena. A long walk works wonders for me (Sadly my old puppy cannot do more than once around the block on a good day.) Just being out in the air is great although air quality is questionable in NYC, I like to go along the Hudson River walk.ReplyDelete
Great post, Charlotte. I do meditate every day in the morning. If I don't, I find my day out of sorts. It sets the path for the rest of my day--focused and on with a positive attitude. Your book sounds wonderful. Wishing you all the best!ReplyDelete
Thank you for stopping by Mary. I guess you are the proof of my theory.Delete
I enjoyed this post. I've been meaning to try meditation. Your post has made me even more determined. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Check out the book I mentioned above Christine. It percolated in the back of my head for way too long before I started but I'm so glad I finally took it up.Delete
Liked your post Charlotte. I haven't tried TM, but I'm sure it works. Glad you clarified it wasn't a religion. Best of luck with your new book. I've been following the Deerbourne Inn stories.ReplyDelete
Very interesting post!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your interest. It was my husband who really pushed me to try it.Delete
Thanks for stopping by Colleen.ReplyDelete