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12 Mindful Tips to Mentally Prepare Yourself for Writing a Novel

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For many, the idea of writing a novel is a lifelong dream – the ability to craft an entire world, populate it with rich characters, and take readers on an immersive journey. However, the process of actually sitting down to write a novel can feel daunting. The blank page stares back, demanding to be filled with brilliance. Self-doubt creeps in, whispering that your ideas aren’t good enough or you’ll never finish.

The truth is, that writing a novel requires mental stamina, focus, and the ability to silence your inner critic. Mindfulness practices can be invaluable tools to prepare your mind for the long journey ahead. By cultivating present-moment awareness, you can bypass distractions, access your creativity, and persist through the inevitable challenges. From meditation to setting realistic expectations, the right mindful tips can transform your relationship with the writing process – making space for your novel to bloom.

Here are some of the best tips you need along the way.


Practice meditation

Meditation is perhaps the most powerful mindfulness practice for a writer. By taking just 10-15 minutes each day to sit in silence and focus on your breath, you cultivate present moment awareness and mental clarity. As you observe the inflow and outflow of your breath, thoughts will inevitably arise – but instead of engaging with them, you practice allowing them to pass without judgment.

This process of watching the mind has profound benefits for writing. It strengthens your ability to detach from your inner critic and self-doubting thoughts. You learn to simply witness mental chatter without getting caught up in it.

Meditation also sharpens your focus and concentration, which are essential for immersing yourself in the world of your novel during writing sessions. With regular practice, you’ll find it easier to settle your mind, access your creativity, and stay present with your words on the page.

Do mindful walking

Another simple yet powerful mindfulness technique is mindful walking. Instead of treating your daily walk as a means to an end, you can use it as a practice in presence. Leave the headphones and podcasts behind, and go for a stroll without any distractions. As you walk, bring your full attention to the experience. Notice the sights around you – the play of light and shadow, the colours and textures. Be aware of the sounds, whether it’s birds singing or the crunch of the path beneath your feet.

Feel the subtle movements of your body with each step you take. By being fully immersed in sensory experience, your mind settles. You enter a state of relaxed focus, which can be incredibly fertile ground for creative insights. Pay close attention to any flashes of inspiration that arise, like a vivid image, an intriguing line of dialogue, or a new story idea. Let the world around you spark your imagination as you mentally prepare to bring your novel to life.

Create Your Workstation

Do you have enough quiet and cosy space in your home to kill all distractions and focus on the task at hand? If not, you may want to create a quiet, clutter-free writing space for yourself. You can never be organised mentally if your surroundings are not organised, and vice versa.

Remember to make your workstation a “no cell phone” zone. The way a single notification can lead you to hours of scrolling is not unknown to anyone. 

It is best to leave your phone outside your workstation or to at least put it on silent mode to ensure that a few silly notifications do not become the reason for you to miss out on work.

Set Realistic Expectations

When you are about to start writing a novel, it is natural for you to feel very excited and energetic. Such energy can make anyone with a passion for writing feel that they can complete their first draft in a single day. However, things turn out to be very different when you start writing.

Instead of letting a failure to meet expectations weigh you down, it is smarter to begin by setting calculated expectations. 

Remember that writing a novel is not a marathon. You can go at your own pace and define your expectations and timeline accordingly. 

Setting realistic expectations will not only help you make real progress but also give you a sense of achievement that will keep you going even through the most challenging days.

Celebrate Your Achievements

No achievement is too small to be celebrated, especially when you are trying to take it one step at a time as an author. Every little step counts toward bringing about the final outcome: the final manuscript for your book.

Whether you complete one chapter or format your book, every task can be challenging in its own way. Take your time to pat yourself on the back and appreciate yourself.

Celebrating achievements with your friends and family members can boost your mental well-being and help you stay motivated to keep going.

Keep a Positive Head

It is no exaggeration that the writing journey can be challenging. Your editor may be too critical, and you may not be able to finalise a book cover or hear back from the only literary agent you want to work with. At some point, it becomes too much to handle.

These challenges can overwhelm even the most experienced of writers. If you are feeling let down, take a deep breath and rise.

Instead of focusing on the things that overwhelm you, focus on your progress, strengths, and the joy of storytelling to sustain your enthusiasm for writing. It will be hard to do at times, but nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it.

Seek the Right Support

You do not become a globally renowned author overnight. It can be a long and challenging journey that can become much easier with the right support.  That is why even the best authors seek guidance from professionals such as a writing coach

A writing coach is a professional who can help you in your writing journey, aid you in meeting deadlines, and provide constructive criticism.

These professionals work side by side with you to help you identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

Right and timely support from writing coaches and other professionals, such as mentors or mental well-being advocates, can help you keep going on your journey.

Take Your Breaks

If you think that spending more time behind your workstation desk means that you are achieving more, you are clearly mistaken. Consecutive hours of work can make you feel exhausted mentally and physically.

Breaks are your opportunity to take a fresh start. Every experienced author can say that with personal experience it is okay to take a break. In fact, taking a break can do wonders for your mental well-being and get the creative juices flowing.

Embrace Failure

In an ideal world, every author’s first draft will become the final draft without any mistakes. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, and authors face failure in several aspects every day. But that does not mean that you are not a good enough author.

Remember that failure is a part of the journey. Instead of letting failure define you and make you give up on your dreams, let it fuel you on your journey to success.

Do not take failure or rejection as the end of your journey as a writer. Instead, take it as your motivator to try harder and unlock your full potential

Think About Succeeding

There is nothing sweeter than the thought of your book becoming a fan favourite. Imagine your fans surrounding you to ask questions about your mental process behind the book or wanting an autograph to cherish forever. Every thought like this can bring a smile to an author on any journey of writing their manuscript.

Such thoughts can also help you any time you are feeling low or hopeless. Whenever you get overwhelmed, take a break and think about why you put all your effort into a manuscript.

In addition to that, you can also relax by practising mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to stay present and positive to complete your manuscript effectively.

12 Mindful Tips to Mentally Prepare Yourself for Writing a Novel
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