I worked with a professor in graduate school who used to tell his students:
Writing is a habit.
A habit is something you do without thinking.
As is mindfulness.
Making mindfulness a habit
The Buddhists suggest we bring attention and thoughtfulness to even the most mundane habits, like hand washing.
Instead of washing our hands with our minds racing in a hundred directions, we should look at our hands as we wash them, pay attention, and imagine using them to bring beauty into the world, comfort someone, perform an act of kindness.
Look at your hands. Appreciate them. Appreciate that you are still in this beautiful, difficult, interesting world. As you wash them thank them, and set your mind to doing something kind with them, or many kind things, throughout the day.
Good writing is an act of kindness
Good writing is an act of kindness.
It pays attention to suffering.
It creates beauty out of pain.
Telling your story, sharing your pain … these are ways to improve the world.
Published: April 22, 2015
Updated: January 14, 2020