I am a meditator and a writer. I meditate in the morning and write in the morning. I also practice yoga. To me, these are all intertwined.
While yoga originated in India, its been universally accepted. The U.S. alone has an estimated 36 million yoga practitioners. It has adapted to local socio-political and cultural norms world over so much so that it can hardly be called an Indian custom. The system of yoga has physical, mental, and emotional dimensions in addition to spiritual underpinnings. But yoga is not a religion. It has no dogma. But the practice for me is essential to my writing and brings me to a place where I can write truth.
Meditation helps improve focus. Something essential for the good writer. I began meditating years ago with a meditation method popular at that time, Transcendental Meditation. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed this mantric method of meditation in the 50’s in India, and it spread widely throughout the world. For me, it was a good place to learn the technique, but my meditation practice evolved when I combined meditation with yoga, especially Kundalini. Kundalini is a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine, conceptualized as a coiled serpent. It didn’t matter which type of meditation I was using, as long as it focused my mind and enabled me to write from that place.
Meditation slows the world down to make room for creative thought and exploration. It’s an ideal practice for the writer or artist.
I will be blogging on Thursdays and Tuesdays, as announcements as they come along. Follow me at http://www.EileenPKennedy.com. I will be on hiatus for the summer until September. See you then.
I was struggling with writing a poem about a historical incident. I just couldn’t find a way into the poem. I tried locking myself in my study, ignoring the phone when it rang, procrastinating with housework, but nothing worked.
Thena writer friend of mine made a suggestion. Go to the Library. I live in Massachusetts where every town has a town library, but it just didn’t occur to me. I’ve read many articles and blogs on how to focus as a writer, but I hadn’t tried my local library.
I organized my writing materials as best I could, convinced I would leave important things at home that I would need there. I allowed for time to get to and from the library (about eight minutes each way. ) I carried my computer and notes to the car and set off.
When I arrived there, I found a lovely place to sit, a desk with partitions that actually blocked me from other desks. It was quiet and I easily tuned my computer into the wifi, and soon enough I was writinga rough draft. I came to a point where I needed to confirm some historical information, and the reference librarian was at the ready to help.
I wound up bringing the draft home and finishing it there. I recently submitted the poem. I don’t know if it will be accepted, but at least I finished it and it’s off my desk.
I’ll be blogging on Thursdays and doing announcements on Tuesdays as they come along. Follow me.
To support our creativity, we all need compassionate spaces. We need to do our best, but not pressure for more and more. We should renew our inner resources to overcome obstacles and difficulties.
Especially in these difficult times with wars and pandemic, we need to remind ourselves of the beauty that exists. We need the support of our fellow artists.
I remember seeing on television a cello player performing amidst the rubble of bombed out buildings after an attack by the Russian army on his Ukrainian village. When interviewed, he said, “We’ll rebuild.” His message was one of hope through creativity. It’s an antidote for despair.
Literature is important. In this materialistic era, where the pursuit of money often comes before the public welfare, literature becomes even more important than ever.
Not having literature prevalent in American schools has caused a deficit in education. Dana Gioia states “.. A time of crucial intellectual and emotional development bypass the joys and challenges of literature is a troubling trend.”
At a time when businesses are claiming they can’t find employees who are able to expand their minds to different horizons. They want employees to think out of the box. An education with a wide range of world literature is essential to doing this. Reading literature in childhood, and becoming lifelong readers is essential for broadening the mind.
I will continue to blog on Thursdays, with announcements on Tuesdays as they come along. Follow me here on WordPress.
June is flower month. I love fresh flowers. The one pictured is from a recent trip to Costa Rica. I get a sense of renewal when the green buds first appear in the Northeast in March or early April. This time of year, I often feel depleted in body and mind and the flowers renew me.
I plant flowers to have on my porch and in my yard. My partner often brings me flowers from his farm. I have irises now. I love to take walks in the woods and look at the wildflowers
Now that it’s the beginning of June, I feel grateful for the at the abundance of life growing around me. I recommit myself to simplicity, renewal, and writing. I remind myself to “smell the roses.”
As an artist, I celebrate the creativity I have as an antidote for the destruction and chaos in the world.
Experimenting is part of the creative process. Things can change at any stage in a painting’s or manuscript’s development.
The writing process is an exciting and adventurous process. It sometimes feels electrifying and at other times, downright discouraging. A writer needs to go in knowing that it might not work. It means that results don’t matter as much as the process, the joy and the journey.
I try to keep this in mind every time I sit down at a blank page. An athlete has to work out to get to a point where she wins the competition. A writer sometimes has to fail many times before succeeding. It’s part of the journey to that wonderful piece that finally works.
I am terrible at titles. I’ve published three books and each one wound up with a different title than I proposed.
And I’ve published two poetry collections. Each poem,aside from an occasional haiku, has its own title. Here are some things I’ve learned about titling:
A book title should be memorable. It’s the one thing that will lead people back to the book.
A book title should be short. Shorter is generally better than longer. My first collection of poetry was one word: Banshees: Poems. It was one word, but let people know it was a poetry collection.
A book title should provide information about the book. For my poetry book titles, I list the title and then poems, so that people will know it’s a poetry collection. The textbook I published had a very informative title: Ready to Use Lessons and Activities for the Primary Inclusive Classroom. This is neither short nor particularly memorable, but people knew exactly what it was. This is important with nonfiction. My editor convinced me of this and I think she was right.
A title should set a mood. My second collection of poetry was on a hard subject: Alzheimer’s Disease. I wrote it about my experiences with my partner who died of this dread disease. I called the collection Touch My Head Softly. This gave a softer feel to this difficult topic. Check out this book, my latest, at: