Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mark David Gerson - Guided Meditations for Writers

As a yoga teacher who specializes in teaching people to relax, I recorded a CD that relaxes the body with the side effect of freeing the mind for creativity. I would love to hear about your guided meditations for writers.

First, how can guided meditation help a writer?
Meditation is a valuable tool for getting us in the "creation zone," for moving us out of the stress and anxiety of our everyday lives and into the natural place where creation can occur with ease. It's not a replacement for the rest of our lives, but a practice for more mindful — and creative — living.

Although each of the ten guided meditations on The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers is keyed to a particular purpose — getting out of judgment, acknowledging the power of our writer-selves, aligning with our vision for a piece of writing, for example — their deeper goal is to get you into a place and space where any and all of your writing can flow more naturally, freely and spontaneously. (The 2-CD set opens with a general track of inspiration and instruction and then moves into my studio recording of each of the meditations scripted in The Voice of the Muse book.)

How can writers enhance their creativity?
1. Recognize that there are no rules in creativity. Your page is blank for a reason. Creativity is not about formulas and repeating what’s been done before. It’s about invention and individuality. Be yourself and free yourself to express that individuality on the page—without
second-guessing, self-criticism, or judgment.

2. Read. Anything good. Often. For fun. Don’t feel you need to analyze what you read. The more you read, the more you will absorb other authors’ techniques, successes, and failures. The more you read, the more you will intuitively know what works and what doesn’t—in their work and in your own.

3. Write. That’s what a writer does. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you’re writing. And as long as you’re writing, you’ll be stretching your creative muscle and honing your craft.

How did The Voice of the Muse come about?
The Voice of the Muse was also not consciously planned. I wrote many of its inspirational vignettes originally for
myself, longhand in my car, at a time when I was feeling stuck in my own writing. It was only a few years later,
when The MoonQuest was with an agent, that it suddenly occurred to me that I might have enough material from those jottings to put into a book. I did, and an early version of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write

Do you have any additional advice for writers?
Trust the story, even if you don’t yet know what it is.
Trust your innate creativity. Take it word by word and allow your pen or the keyboard to spell out the story for you. Allow yourself to be the passenger on your creative journey, not the driver. … If you can begin to believe that your story always knows best, you’ll never go wrong.

Mark David Gerson is author of the five-time award-winning novel The MoonQuest and an award-winning book book on writing for writers in all genres and all experience levels, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. He has also recorded The Voice of the Muse Companion, a 2-CD set of guided meditations for writers. Mark David's essays on creativity, personal growth and spirituality reach readers in more than two dozen countries. He is currently working on a screenplay adaption of The MoonQuest and a sequel to the novel.
To learn more about Mark David Gerson and his work, visit his website and Voice of Your Muse Blog.

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  1. Thanks for featuring me on your blog today!

  2. I love guests talking about the "spiritual" part of writing. The aspect that is more magic than craft.

  3. Great post.

    I need to get back into meditating.


  4. As a fellow yoga devotee and sometimes teacher, I really appreciate this post. I'll have to check out your CDs.

    What kind of yoga do you teach? I find that if I can come to the mat every day, my mental state (and thus my creativity) is so much more balanced.


  5. I am so excited about this! This will be the second time today that I have said "I do not believe in coincidences" and I was also thinking how nice it would be to have some type of meditative or positive reinforcement CD to help me transition into my writing time...and voila! Wishes come true as I hit the 'send' button..
    Thank you for this!!

  6. MARK--I certainly need help with my creative level--thanks for the tips. Very good!Celia Yeary