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Journal The Merry Writer Work in Progress Writing

Mind Exercises Before Each Work-In-Progress

Do you use mind exercises before each work-in-progress? The question refers specifically to writing prompts, but seems open to interpretation. There is a series of books that I use to help me flesh things out. I also use meditation to clear my mind and get me into a flow state before each writing session.

Let me start with meditation. In a given day I touch at least four different writing projects: this blog, the company blog, the company work-in-progress, and my novel. When I switch between them I try to take a break, so I’m not immediately jumping from one to the other. Get some coffee, have a snack, go to lunch, generally be away from my desk for a few minutes.

As I sit down to begin the next thing, I close my eyes and meditate for 3 to 5 minutes. I visualize working on it, imagine what it will be like when it’s done, and gather warm thoughts about why I’m excited to be doing it. This helps me to focus on the task at hand, and keep my enthusiasm up.

Mind Exercises Before Each Work-In-Progress

To be completely self-serving, the books I use are my own. Building Characters and Building Worlds are both designed for tabletop roleplaying games, but I have used them in planning my novel. I actually wrote them as tools for my own use, then cleaned them up for a wider audience and published them. They have great prompts for developing characters and worldbuilding, respectively.

At some point in the near future I’ll complete the third volume, Building Adventures. That book examines three-act structure, outlining, and generally making sure your story builds to a satisfying payoff. I’ve been using the current draft of that book in conjunction with my novel-in-progress as well.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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