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Tom Evans : Writing with Your Whole Mind

Writing with Your
Whole Mind

By Tom Evans

Whole mind

When you are writing in the zone, an amazing transformation in your physiology and neurology is taking place. Something much more subtle too is occurring across time and space.

If you could get the head of a writer in an MRI scanner when they are in flow, you would see both halves of the brain lit up at the same time.

For 95% or so of writers, as some are wired differently, this is what is going on. The right brain is holding the vision, shape and scope of what they are writing. It will be forming sentences and 'looking' backwards and forwards over the book to check that what is currently being written fits in with the whole. At exactly the same time, the left brain will be focusing on the act of writing itself and that the actual words used follow grammatical rules and are spelt correctly. Note this is a bit of a generalization as there is much cross communication going between the hemispheres.

For the writer who is 'out of sorts', something else might be in play. The left brain and outer cortex might be running thoughts that they might not have enough time to write or harboring fears of self doubt about their talent. The right brain might be dreaming about a six figure advance and retiring in the Caribbean after selling a million books before the book is even written.

Fortunately there are many ways to 'get in the zone.' Meditation, walking, cross crawling and alternate nostril breathing are recommended practices before writing, and ideally daily. You may also find doodling and Mind Mapping around your chapters before you write them helps open new avenues of exploration. What you eat is also important as is keeping properly hydrated.

For the really 'in tune' writer, much more is happening still. Inside their bodies, the heart center will be falling in love with what they are writing and the whole feeling of being in full creative flow. Their gut mind will be giving their work the 'green light' as they write each sentence and finish each chapter. The root mind even gets in on the act by checking in with Mother Earth on the overall ecology of the piece.

At the same time, via an open crown chakra, the third eye of the writer will be connected to the collective mind and universal consciousness. This is one of the main benefits from regular meditation and 'right breathing'. As the collective mind stores all memories and knowledge from the present, past and future, the writer can also connect with their 'future self' who 'knows' the words they are about to write.

Even more useful too, the writer can also tune into their 'future reader.' What's more, this communication is bidirectional.

The writer can check in with the change in state of the reader in the future to make sure their book creates the desired outcome. Even more subtly though the reader in the future will resonate with the actual emotional state and spiritual connectivity of the writer at the time when the words were being penned.

This means it is important no only to be diligent about what you are writing but also how you are feeling and being while you are writing. For example, if you are writing while angry or upset about something not to do with your book, your state of mind will leak across space and time, even if you are not explicitly writing about these specific emotions.

The opposite is also true. You can implicitly embed good intent and general bonhomie in your work and it will be picked up by the reader years after you have written it. What goes on between the lines is as important as the lines themselves. This is the state I am currently in while I write these words. Even as I email them off to the editor, I throw in a shot of good intent and unconditional love for good measure. What goes around, comes around.

This means as writers we have an obligation and duty of care to be pure of thought and mind. To paraphrase Bambi, "If you can't 'write' something nice, don't 'write' nothing at all." •

Tom Evans Renaissance Man and Imagineer Tom Evans is the author of four books and counting about creativity. More »

5/3/12