How to Bring Ease to Your Writing
For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the concept of parenting from an open and spacious place vs. a stressed and constricted one. After hearing Tara Mohr apply a similar concept to work, I decided to apply it to writing as well and it was a game changer! So I wrote this post to share this insight with you. I hope that this helps you shift the equation from stressed to spacious in your writing life.
Write with Ease (instead of Stress)
The other day, I listened to Tara Mohr talk about the possibility of bringing relaxation to everything we do. Since Mohr’s definition of “relaxation” was built around the difference between ease and spaciousness vs. stress and constriction, I’ve translated her use of “relaxation” to “ease” for the purpose of this post.
Let’s start by noticing how differently your day goes when you’re functioning from a place of ease and openness vs. a place of stress and constriction. Consider, for example, how differently your work or family life function when you engage from a place of ease vs. a place of stress.
How are you in your relationships with loved ones when you’re in a place of ease and spaciousness?
And how are you in those relationships when you’re stressed and constricted?
There’s a huge difference, right?
After listening to Mohr’s talk, I decided to apply this concept to my writing. With so much going on lately, it’s been easy for me to fall into a stressed place and get stuck there. When I applied these concepts to my writing, they fundamentally changed the dynamic.
5 Questions to Bring More Ease to Your Writing
Here are the questions Mohr suggested we experiment with. They helped me shift the dynamic in my writing life, and I hope they’re helpful to you, too. (On a side note, you can apply these questions to any part of your life: relationships, work, etc.)
- What ideas about ease or being at ease did you grow up with? What do you associate “ease” with?
- How are you in your writing when you’re at ease?
- How are you in your writing when you’re stressed/not at ease?
- What thoughts related to your writing disrupt ease?
- Can you think of any alternative thoughts that would allow for ease?
Reframe Your Thoughts
Here’s an example on the power of those thoughts. Let’s say that I have the following thought when I sit down to write: “I let work bleed into my writing time last week and now I need to knock it out of the park and get at least 1.5 hours of good, focused writing done today. And it better be good writing, too, not these mucky drafts I’ve been working with lately.”
Eek. Hear the stress and pressure in those statements?! When I sit down to write with that hanging over my head (which I’ve done), you can bet that I’ll be rife with discontent, looking to rebel/ break out of my writing time as soon as can (been there, done that).
By contrast, what if I sit down to write with the following thoughts instead: “Okay, I’m going to give myself 45 minutes to go over an old draft and see if I can identify a few gems. I’m going to see if I can come at this exercise from a place of openness, spaciousness and ease.”
Feel the difference?
It’s a much more freeing way to write.
Hell, it’s a much more freeing way to be.
Ok, now it’s your turn. Try these exercises with your writing (or your relationships, or your work) and let me know how it goes.
And if you’d like to learn more about Tara Mohr’s work, you can pick up her Playing Big book here or learn more about her Playing Big programs here. (I’m currently enrolled in her Facilitator’s Training program and loving it. By the way, I don’t benefit in any way from sharing this, I just love her work and would like to help it reach more people.)
If you want to hear the entire conversation, you can access it here (scroll down to the the Jan 31, 2021 video recording).
Wishing you a lovely week!
P.S.: If you know someone who could benefit from these notes, please share this or encourage them to join our community here. As a thank you, I’ll send them a copy of my Story Starter Kit.
P.P.S.: Registration for the April cohort of Memoir Mastery will open in early March. More info coming soon!