Member Update – A Quiet Mind

4 minute read

As a freelance writer, there are two things you have to contend with that full-time employees don’t.

First, you have to wear a lot of hats within your business. You don’t just provide your expert services to clients. You also market yourself… manage your business expenses… take care of administrative details… develop new products and services… handle customer service issues… The list goes on.

Second, you have to set your own priorities, establish your own schedule, and show up to do what needs to be done without reporting to a boss or supervisor. (Sure, you may ultimately report to your client, but your client doesn’t care if you’re at your desk by 9 a.m. or sleeping in. You’re the one who needs to care about that.)

Both of these things offer a lot of positives. You get to learn the ins and outs of running a business, which makes you more valuable to your clients… and also sets you up to build multiple income streams. Because once you know how to run one business, it’s easier to figure out how to run another. 

And you get to set your own schedule — work when it works for you — and do other things when you want to. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with that.

But both of these things can also lead you to feel a little overwhelmed and uncertain what to focus on.

That’s where meditation can help.

At its most basic, the practice of meditation is the practice of recognizing when your mind starts to drift and bringing it back to its desired focus.

And getting good at meditation will make running your business easier and more enjoyable. Here’s how…

1. Feel Less Overwhelmed

A lot of times, overwhelm stems from thinking about everything you need to do. And, believe me, the older you get, the longer that list of “everything” tends to grow.

When you try to think about where it’s all going to fit in, it can leave you feeling paralyzed and unable to choose one thing to do.

But, when you practice meditation, one of things you’re learning how to be good at is focusing on one thing at a time. So, the more you meditate, the easier it will get to look at your list, accept its size and scope, and then choose one thing to give your attention to for a time.

You’ll check more items off your list without feeling like you’re drowning.

2. Stay Focused Longer

When you’re writing and in the flow, there’s some natural ebb and flow that takes place. For a minute, the words and ideas come so fast you can barely keep up with them. And then you have to pause and rest for a minute, allowing your next batch of thoughts to bubble up.

That rest moment can be uncomfortable. It’s pretty normal, when you hit that point, to start doing something else… or at the very least, to start thinking about something else. Which can keep the next batch of words from rising to the surface.

With meditation, you’ll get better and better at keeping your mind quiet during those rest moments. Rather than bouncing over to check how your most recent LinkedIn post is doing or deciding to get up and make a few phone calls, you’ll notice when your mind starts to drift and be able to bring it back to the task at hand.

When that happens, you’ll get more work done in shorter amounts of time… and the quality of your writing won’t suffer for it.

3. Let Go When It’s Time

You can’t work all the time. You can’t be creative all the time. You need to take breaks. To rest and relax. To get caught up in other things, be they mundane like cleaning the house or exciting like going on a new hike.

With a solid meditation practice, it becomes easier to walk away from your work. And more importantly, to let your brain set work down so you can enjoy where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing.

And that’s essential to building a business you find satisfying and that won’t burn you out.

If you don’t have an active meditation practice, start dedicating 10 minutes a day to it. In fact, AWAI makes it super easy by offering a guided meditation program built specifically for writers. It’s a gift they make freely available to their community, and you can find that here. Give it a try!

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