a blog by Ellen Davies

6 ways to Practice writing

6 ways to Practice writing

Last December, the website Yoganonymous published this article. Since then, Yoganonymous has become Wanderlust, and my article disappeared. Here it is again!


Six Ways To Practice Writing  


Writing can be a wonderful outlet for creativity, emotions, and growth. Taking the time each day to write in a journal helps us sort out our thoughts and tell our stories. This discipline of writing can be as beneficial as a yoga asana practice, but too often we get intimidated or blocked. Here are six ways to practice your writing, in the same way you practice yoga on your mat.


1. Listen to your body. In a yoga practice, we listen to the messages the body is sending us: a pain response, a twinge, a tightness. These things tell us about our bodies. Sometimes what they are telling us is the story. Why is my right hip so much tighter than my left? Why are my shoulders so stiff today? 


2. No judgement. It’s your voice and your writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because this is a practice, remember? If you are hearing that judgmental voice in your head, yoga and meditation can help quiet it down. Because if the voice is yelling at you, it’s not your real voice. Thank it for showing up and show it the door.


3. Quiet your mind. In the stillness of your mind, inspiration blooms. Before you begin to write, focus on your breath and soften your forehead (the site of your third-eye chakra).


4. Let go of competition. In a yoga class, the quickest way to get injured is to show off, or think we have to outperform the person next to us. In writing, this competitiveness can lead to plain old bad writing. Have you ever read a memo where someone used lots of big words and clumsy phrases, just because they sounded “smart”? Let that go. Write in your true voice.


5. Practice every day. Write every day. But just as you should vary your asana practice (vinyasa one day, restorative the next, hatha, yin, etc.), vary your writing practice. Try a journal entry today. Use a writing prompt tomorrow. Play with genres: write a short scene from a western novel, or science fiction, or romance. Write as if you were  a GPS voice. Enjoy your writing practice just as you enjoy your yoga practice.


6. Breathe. It helps everything.


How do you practice your writing? Leave me a note in the comments section!


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