Mindfulness and meditation can be different for everyone, but the important thing is to pay attention to our surroundings and notice all the little details around us. Journaling goes hand in hand with this because you’re more likely to improve what you’re noticing, be more creative, and become more aware of your thoughts and surroundings. Read on for 10 suggestions for starting a mindful writing practice.

1. Be present

When you’re writing, it’s easy to become distracted by everything around you. Learn to realize when your mind is wandering and bring yourself back to the present and your writing. It’s natural for your mind to wander, so you need to learn how to accept it and move on. Write down the thoughts that pop into your head so you can go back to them later and understand why you thought of them.

2. Accept writer’s block

It’s normal for all writers to experience writer’s block so the first thing to do is acknowledge and accept it. This is usually cause by a cluttered mind, so at this point take a break and return to your writing later.

3. Focus on your breaths

Before you start to write, focus on your breaths to give your body time to relax and your mind to focus. This will slow down all the other thoughts you have and get more mental clarity. This can also help with writer’s block. You can also do this throughout your writing if you find you’re getting stuck.

4. Don’t try to be perfect

We all try to be perfect, or have our writing stand out from everything else out there. However, perfection is subjective, and by trying to be perfect you’re preventing yourself from writing something really great. Before you start, think of your goals – are you writing to be more happy, or are you trying to share a message with others? Instead of writing something that you think others will find perfect, try to write something honest, or funny, or engaging.

5. Visualize your writing

It helps to create a mental image of what you consider success, of your goals and your writing. Think about a day where you were productive and wrote well. Why were you able to stay focused and what process did you follow? This visualization will help you be motivated and start writing.

6. Have a routine

It takes self-discipline and willpower to start and follow a routine, but this will lead to great work and consistency. It takes time and dedication to create a routine so you need to focus on setting aside time every day to write, preferably at the same time each day.

7. Observe what’s around you

When you become better at making mindful observations of the world around you separately from your thoughts, you start seeing the link between your experiences and your storytelling. Think about what’s happening around you with all your senses and without trying to twist it into a story. Look at it objectively, like an outsider, to gain new perspective.

8. Create a narrative

Once you’ve learned how to mindfully observe the world around you, you can create a narrative about what you’re noticing. Use your senses to create the scene and start telling the story, all the while staying in the moment. When you write your narrative, if you feel like your grammar is lacking, look online for useful tools that will help.

9. Do a word sketch

A word sketch is recording a stream of consciousness, whether it’s observations of things around you or whatever thoughts are going through your mind. Don’t worry about using complete sentences or punctuation, but just separate your thoughts with a brief line. No matter how trivial or random a thought, put it down with anything else that comes to mind.

10. Be consistent

The important thing is to journal regularly, whether you’re writing down on lined paper that you find that day or buying a fancy journal.

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