Sometimes we can feel unnecessary pressure while we write because a part of us is projecting into the future. Instead of focusing on what is right in front of us, we can ask questions like…
Will this writing be accepted?
Where will this be published?
Will my colleagues like it?
Is this as good as it can be?
Letting go of attachment to outcome is one of the principles of mindfulness. (It is called non-striving, and when I work with academics, this is one of the most difficult mindfulness practices for them to grasp.)
Working in an unattached way means you are awake and aware during the process.
You arrive at your thoughts with joy.
You let yourself enjoy the parts that flow and the parts that are slow, knowing that this ebb and flow is a natural part of life.
You push yourself, not because of what could happen later, but because of what is happening right then.
You desire to bring your whole self to the work at hand right there and then.
Try this today: set a timer for 20 minutes. Write by hand in an unattached way. Let me know what happens!
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a writing coach with 20 years of experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in universities, as well as in diverse community settings. She specializes in working with women in academe.