When I wake each morning, I start the day with a single thought, “I am alive.” It’s the one mantra I say consistently, every day. I love the sing-song sound of the vowels and the way the “v” vibrates on my bottom lip like a buzzing bee. But more than that, it’s a reminder to be grateful for simply being alive in this world.
A key part of a mantra is its sound, which is why you’ll hear “Om” chanted in yoga and meditation classes. Together, a mantra’s sound and meaning produce a powerful effect that can ripple throughout your day. “I am alive” is my reminder to have gratitude for the simple joy of being, which can get away from me throughout the hustle and bustle of the day if I’m not mindful of it.
Mantras are especially important to me as a writer. Writing requires focus, clarity, and an openness to run with ideas— all of which are qualities that can get blocked by stress, busyness, and distractions. I’ve always been a writer, but I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my writing practice since I incorporated daily mantras into my life.
Below are three benefits daily mantras provide for writers, along with some ideas to get you started.
A little reminder that you are a writer.
While it’s important to write every day, this goal is not always attainable. I’m sure most of you can relate to being swept up in the daily grind of a job that isn’t related to writing. Have you ever experienced a time when you were so caught up in other things that you forgot that you were a writer? It can happen to the best of us and it’s a fast track to derailing your writing practice.
A daily mantra is a wonderful way to remind yourself each and every day that you are first and foremost a writer. If you are a writer, it is essential that you that you experience the world in the best way you know how, through writing. It’s part of who you are, and if it gets away from you, it’s as if you’ve shut down a part of yourself.
The mantra can be as simple as, “I am a writer” or you can embellish your mantra to inspire deeper thoughts, such as “I am a brilliant writer,” or “I am a brilliant writer who has a successful writing practice.” Say it every day, write it on your mirror, jot it down on sticky notes— do whatever you have to in order to affirm that you are a writer and to always embrace that true part of who you are.
Daily mantras as writing prompts
Sometimes the ideas flow and other times they get stoppered up. I often think that if we were to peer inside writers’ brains, we would such a jumble of ideas that they would resemble a cluttered old attic. We need to sweep out the cobwebs from time to time to let our treasures shine.
A fun little writing exercise is to use daily mantras as writing prompts. Build a story around your mantra, or create a character who reflects the message of your mantra. You can also turn your mantra into a poem. Taking even ten minutes to play around with a mantra will get your creativity flowing, help unblock any obstacles with your writing, and reaffirm what your mantra is all about.
A solution to writer’s block
Repeating a mantra is a form of meditation and one of the best ways to cure writer’s block. The practice has a calming and grounding effect, and creates a space for quiet reflection and silence.
Meditation is connected to mental clarity. Repeating a daily mantra will make your thoughts clear and your mind more alert. Engaging in this practice often allows writers to connect with that “aha!” moment in their writing, when all the pieces suddenly come together.
The next time you have writer’s block, take a few deep breaths, think of a mantra, and repeat it slowly a few times. It will help! And at the very least it will connect you with gratitude, which is a powerful reminder that despite any distractions, obstacles, or busyness in your life, you are a writer. And you are alive.