Want to write more? Meditate first.

That’s right. Holding still with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing will help you write more. You have to write after you are finished though…

I began practicing Wim Hof Method breathing and cold exposure last April. While I was finishing drafting A Paleolithic Fable, I began incorporating the breathing component at the end of my 4 am to 7 am writing time. I did three sets of breathing and retentions every day before joining the real world. It felt great.

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While listening to the Tim Ferriss show, Tim revealed over and over that highly successful people meditate in the morning, in some form or other. I had intermittently practiced deep breathing and mindfulness since I was in High School, but decided to commit fifteen minutes following my Wim Hof breathing. This is a practice Wim suggests as well.

When it came time for editing, I put all the meditation and breathing exercises together first thing (second only to setting the coffee pot to brew and freshening up). This practice has a deep impact on my productivity and interpersonal relationships, but enough about me. The editorial phase of my cycle is far more relaxed and less daily goal driven. I shift from writing a 1500 chapter each day to taking time to learn, fix, think, and reflect while attempting to perfect. It was beautiful.

All seasons end. Eventually Starbucks will put the pumpkin flavor back in the attic, sorry fall lovers! It came time to draft again, only now I had incorporated a half hour of meditation into that sacred space in my time. What if I couldn’t write the whole chapter in one sitting? Would I go back to breaking scenes between writing sessions? Would my chapters become unbearably short? Would I need to ditch the meditation?

Thankfully, all the meditation braced me against my staunch fear of changing routine. I tried it three times. Typically I need close to that three hours to get between 1200 and 1800 words on the page. Now I’ve increased productivity by 50%! I’ve been meeting my word count in record time. Every day I make it, in less time. Well, it’s really the same time, but with a very beneficial practice squeezed in.

So I broke even? Only in terms of writing, and that’s not to count the intangibles. Adopting a healthy practice likely put me in front of the screen more days, since the quality of my life improved. I do need a healthy body to lug my brain around, after all. The additional benefits of Wim Hof Method breathing and meditation are endless, and documented by scientists. The only whaa whaa stuff comes later, as I craft stories of using mma moves on aliens and cavemen!

Give Wim a try and let me know what you think!

 

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