Review of Dinty Moore’s The Mindful Writer
The Mindful Writer
by Dinty W. Moore
This isn’t your typical “how to write” book. Author Dinty W. Moore, thoughtfully illuminates the creative process: where writing and creativity originate, how mindfulness plays into work, how to cultivate good writing habits and grow as a person, and what it means to live a life dedicated to writing.
The Mindful Writer features bite-sized essays that will delight and inform not only writers, but also other artists, mediators and mindfulness practitioners. Built around heartening quotes from famous writers and thinkers, it is a resource that readers will turn to again and again for guidance and encouragement.
Dinty W. Moore has also written the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes and edible dandelions.
When a book combines two things I’m passionate about – writing and mindfulness, I’ve just got to read it. And when I get to read it free (in exchange for an honest review) then I’m ever so happy.
I was even happier to read this lovely companion to daily writing. It’s a great book to read when you’re suffering from writer’s block or when you’re trying to writing authentically and from the heart.
Written in an easy to read style, each chapter begins with a quote by a famous writer, which the author then expands up. At the end of the book there’s a chapter on prompts for mindful writing which I hope to be using in my own writing.
If you’re looking to take your writing to a new level of depth, then I’d suggest you buy this book. It would make a great gift for your writer friends too! 🙂
Extract from The Mindful Writer:
Catch yourself thinking. – Allen Ginsberg
Buddhists have a term—monkey mind—that portrays the restlessness of our brains, especially when we try to deliberately slow the brain down. If you have ever attempted to meditate, you know how this works. The brain is likely to go suddenly hyperactive, leaping from notion to notion, idea to idea, like a caffeine-fueled monkey swinging from tree to tree. Just when you think the mind’s stream of thought has slowed down, that you can stop and lay a finger on a single notion, the monkey goes flying off to another tree, and then another.
In meditation, the goal (eventually, after many years of gradual effort) is to find the truth that is beyond thought. A useful exercise along the way, however, is to on occasion just forget the “no thought” idea—which can be distracting itself— and instead intentionally focus on the chatter of the mind. Just watch and listen as it runs its course.
It can be a fascinating exercise to take whatever insistent thought that pops up—be it serious or trivial—and let it swing on and on to as many trees and branches as it desires, until it—the distraction itself—is seemingly exhausted, run to the ground, out of steam.
Ginsberg doesn’t advise us to stop the monkey from his inevitable traveling, just to catch the moment, to pull out a single thought for an instant and really notice, be mindfully aware.
That thought is a line of a poem, the beginning of a story, an essay.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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Our apologies for not yet selecting a featured writer from the last round of #FridayReflections
By popular demand, with effect from August #FridayReflections will be back again every Friday. Look out for our next link up on 5th August 2016.
This week’s prompts:
This week’s Friday Reflections prompts:
1. Write a poem or personal essay about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company.
2. Imagine how life might be different if you could change your hair colour or clothing into something completely opposite from your current style.
3. Write on any of the prompts from July 2016 that you haven’t written before.
4. It was one of those days where even my coffee needed coffee. (Inspiration: Karen Salmansohn) Use this within your post
5. Picture Prompt (copyright Living my Imperfect Life)