Jun 12, 2012

4 Ways Hypnosis Helps Writing

Sure, Zoe looks like she's napping, but she's really imagining her next novel.

Last month I took part in a challenge to meditate every day. After the challenge of blogging every day in April, I really needed the relax vibes. Jodi from Soul Speak hosted the challenge and now I'm a big fan of her blog. There's always something inspirational or insightful to find there. I'm completely hooked on meditation now and it has helped my writing in so many ways. You can meditate on your own, but I like to use guided recordings or hypnosis audiobooks.

Here's some reasons to try meditation or hypnosis.
  1. Relax - You write, you blog, tweet, message, market, research, etc, etc. Writing a book involves a lot more than sitting quietly at the keyboard, feet in slippers, tapping away with a nice hot cuppa or glass of red (although I suspect many of our relatives assume that's what we're doing). There's so much to fit into each day. My own to-do list currently includes finishing two WIPs, organising the paperback copy of My Zombie Dog, planning a launch, researching development programs, editing another piece, reading up on formatting for iBooks, homework and creating workshop activities, oh, and blog. Sometimes I just need a breather, take a moment of peace and stillness, so I can come back refreshed and ready to keep going. Listening to my hypnosis recording before bed enables me to fall into a deeper sleep and wake feeling like I can take on another workload for the day.
  2. Imagine - I usually fall asleep before my recording finishes, but always have vivid dreams after listening. Many times I get plot ideas from these dreams for characters, plots or short stories. Most recording are vague and may include talk about walking in the countryside or relaxing in a rainforest, this step takes you from seeing yourself on your bed or in your comfy chair to exploring a setting, where you go from there is up to you. Either record your dreams the next morning, or (if you're able to stay awake through the experience) write in your journal straight afterwards, explore your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Inspire - I'm sure I'm not the only one here who occasionally feels down. I pour so much energy into a first draft, but when I'm done, the best I can hope for is pretty ordinary. Now, I know the magic comes in the rewriting and the fine tuning, but it can still be disappointing. Sometimes I make mistakes (like the first version of My Zombie Dog that was released with errors - gasp!) and although I know I'll make plenty more, and this is a chance to learn and amend, I can still feel negative. Meditation, hypnosis and affirmations are a good way of building myself up again. For me, the key to a good affirmation is truth. I don't tell myself I'll be taller or funnier or smarter than I am, but I acknowledge my accomplishments and where they can take me.
  4. Discover - Try meditation or hypnosis and you could discover something really cool - you. By looking inward and exploring your thoughts on your story, the process of writing, what you've been reading etc, you'll find something special. You'll discover your authentic voice. Voice changes depending on our protagonist, their age, occupation, gender, nationality, etc. But YOUR voice doesn't. This is your writing style, the element in each of your novels that identifies them as yours. You want readers to recognise your voice because this is ultimately how you create fans. 
Not sure where to start? There are plenty of free podcasts on iTunes on hypnosis and guided meditation, include the search words creativity or writing and you'll find some good ones. You can also get audiobooks on iTunes, or Audible. Here are some I use:

Maggie Dubris' Inspired Novel: Creativity Hypnosis for Writers - Maggie has several creative hypnosis recordings and I have them all. This is my favourite. Maggie gets you to visualise having your novel finished in your mind, now all you need to do is write it.
Robin Moor's The Natural Born Writer - This recording takes you on a guided voyage (by boat!) to an imaginative setting, you meet with interesting characters and create story as you go. A good one to do and then record your findings.
Nicki Scully's Becoming An Oracle - If you're new to guided meditation, you may find this one a bit weird, but Scully's guided journey to ancient Egypt have really helped me to get a feel for my character in her original setting (my current character lived with Isis). There are several different journeys to take with this recording and although I don't 'feel' the whole oracle belief, I do feel inspired by the characters I create in these settings.
Glen Harrold's Ultimate Guide to Creative Meditation - I've just started with this tape and find some of the echo techniques a bit distracting, but I'm starting to get used to it and do feel quite imaginative afterwards.

Here's one from Youtube you can try:


Do you meditate? Want to give it a go?

16 comments:

  1. Hey Char,

    Doesn't it also seem like when we participate with regularity in social media it's more difficult to attain that centering sensation which stems from meditation and the like?

    I'm not demonizing social media by any stretch, it's an important part of my life. It just seems like sometimes when you're putting yourself out there, it's hard to bring all of you back in here.

    Do you find this is true?

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  2. Suze, you're absolutely right, that's exactly how I've been feeling. I'm trying to find a way to reconnect with my original intentions for social media, and that's to connect, really connect with people and to help whenever I can.

    As usual, you dig past the surface and find the core :)

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  3. Every time I try to meditate I fall asleep, lol. Regardless, I think it's important to take the time to daydream, to focus on our writing, to relax, imagine, inspire and discover, as you say.

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  4. I joined Jodi for the month of May's meditation and left for a five week trip at the same time. Needless to say I let things slip, having not been in the practice of meditating every day, but I enjoyed the experience and I am moving into a place where meditation is a vital part of my life.
    Thank you for the tips on hypnosis and guided meditation. Wonderful!

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  5. I have done silent and guided meditations for years, but only with a spiritual focus. I didn't know at all about guided meditations for writers. This excites me. I have hope that it will improve my writing. Yeah. Thanks so much. You always have such great information. I'll check out the blog too.

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  6. I was really excited to read about what you said about hypnosis recordings. Have not heard about them but am sure they are helpful in a variety of ways - will be checking some out this weekend. Thanks for discovering our blog and we're happy to have found yours!

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  7. Today, people have forgotten how to be quiet and to let their thoughts drift. There's too much to distract our minds with instant messaging that we're losing the ability to be patient. Daydreaming and meditation puts us in touch with ourselves, and is vital for creativity. Whenever I do it, the jigsaw pieces appear and slot together.

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  8. We'll strike that balance. Of this, I am confident.

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  9. I definitely need to focus more on affirmations (part of your inspiration paragraph). Those little thoughts that you're doing okay despite what's going on can be writing savers!

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  10. Hi there! I will definitely try this today... I actually started playing the video you posted but I can't seem to concentrate right now with our housekeeper making noise in the kitche, washing pots & pans. Perhaps later...

    Thanks for sharing this. I'm feeling a bit clutter-brained these days and this is just perfect... :)

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  11. With all the techno wizardry around, it's especially important to draw ourselves away from some of that 'noise' occasionally. Of course we're all trying to do too much, so taking time to meditate (falling asleep is a positive thing!) is crucial.

    Have added your blog to the RFW blogroll.

    Denise

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  12. So, because I'm so deranged I can't "just" meditate without multi-tasking, I set my pages for crit group to print while I am doing the meditation.

    Therefore, I am breathing in-and-out, and repeating, "I am a writer," at the same time my fingers are saying, "I am clearing this paper jam in my printer." Could there be anything more ridiculous?

    All kidding and equipment malfunctions aside, I am getting to be a big fan of yoga and meditation. Really does clear the mind, like taking out a fresh palette for the words to be painted onto the canvas of the WIP.

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  13. I have some meditation mp3's that I listen to occasionally. They do wonders. I don't use them as much as I'd like, though.

    I like the sound of Robin Moor's audiobook.

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  14. I used to meditate which really helped me feel grounded when things in life got a bit too crazy... I really should get back into it again.

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