3 Major Benefits of Immersion Time for Conscious Writers

May 31, 2016

hourglass-1289782_640Writing a book is a huge commitment of time and energy, especially when we approach it with the intention of writing deeply with full awareness as Conscious Writing invites us to do.

We can only truly appreciate what is involved when we dedicate ourselves to taking action rather than simply mulling it over as a future possibility.

And if we want to avoid our book taking forever to complete, we need to create a regular rhythm that includes a mix of short to medium bursts of daily writing alongside longer stretches of what I call “immersion time”.

This is when we schedule time out from other commitments to dive deeply into our topic and our writing with as few distractions as possible.

Immersion time can be anything from half a day to one, two, three or more days on retreat. Once we transition fully into creative writing mode, most of us would happily continue with it full time!

My own experience of immersion time when I was writing my latest book combined with my work with people at all stages of the creative process, proves the case that choosing to prioritize our writing is a priceless gift. Here’s why …

 1. Time and space to live and breathe the content at every level.

When we release ourselves from everyday distractions, we can truly cultivate internal as well as external space. This opens up a rich creative flow that far surpasses what we may be able to achieve with a snatched hour here or there for writing.

Julia Cameron puts it like this, “It’s a paradox that by emptying our lives of distractions we are actually filling the well.”  I recommend taking a break from email, web browsing (other than what may be directly related to your content), social media, and especially the news.

yoga-544970_640Be creative about using the time and space you have, and in addition to actual writing time, immerse yourself in your content generally. Take a topic with you on a walk, do some yoga or other conscious movement or soak in a relaxing bath with it at the back of your mind.

Incubating your ideas in this way means that when it’s time for your next writing session, you’re ready to go with far greater clarity and insight.

 2. Face any challenges that arise in your writing process with acceptance instead of evasion.

Writing a book is full of challenges. Some are relatively insignificant and easily overcome. Others have a far greater capacity to stop us in our creative tracks.

There comes a moment for most of us in the book writing process when we feel as if we have “hit the wall”. At this point, all of the fears and anxieties that come from our everyday self rise up to bite us where it hurts the most. This is when we feel the, “Who am I to write …?” question, and other similar expressions of self-doubt.

Under normal circumstances, it’s all too easy to find ourselves too busy to face these challenges head on. Conveniently, other commitments then become a refuge from our writing and we can evade the issue for days, weeks, months and even years!

When this happens during immersion time, you have a real opportunity to stand firm in your commitment to write. I suggest stepping back and gaining a perspective on the big picture by reminding yourself why you’re writing, what purpose your writing will serve – for you and your readers – and then reaffirming where you’re heading overall. This approach usually provides a way around, over or through the wall, especially when you have appropriate support.

 3. Experiment and discover the most conscious, creative and productive way of writing that works for you.

WRITING_colorful-1312799_1280Learning to put writing first is a significant threshold for writers to cross. It often takes time to reach this point of commitment and make it a reality in everyday life. Yet once we do, writing for however long we’re able to manage before the rest of the day begins becomes a way of life. Writer’s write, that’s what we do!

When we have immersion time, we can expand greatly on this theme.

As we’ve already chosen to prioritize our writing, we can write first thing in the morning, take a break when we want to, potter about for a while – indoors or outside – and return to our writing again and again. Essentially we can go with the flow in a way that is usually not possible when our lives are ruled by clock time.

In this way, we truly get to know ourselves as writers and what works best for us as individuals. We cultivate the ability to know when to step away rather than plug away at a section if it isn’t working and we’re free to find a pattern that supports us to be the most conscious and creative writer we can possibly be at any one point in time.

Enjoy experimenting with your own mix of short and long writing sessions, and I encourage you to schedule some immersion time in your diary today!

Q4U: What’s your experience of finding a writing rhythm that works for you? How have you benefitted from being on a writing retreat in the past? Share your experience with your fellow Conscious Writers below.

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© Julia McCutchen 2016. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your newsletter or blog I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is an intuitive creator, writer and mentor who guides people to share their unique gifts through creating, writing and living from a conscious and vibrant connection to Truth. A former international publisher, Julia experienced a life-changing accident in 1999 which triggered a series of major quantum leaps in her spiritual awakening. She subsequently developed a tried and tested holistic approach to access the present and aligned state required for original creative expression in all areas of life, especially writing. She is the founder and creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW) and the author of two books including, Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice Through Mindfulness and More (Hay House). For more information and a free video series visit www.JuliaMcCutchen.com and www.iaccw.com

2 Comments »

  1. This is exactly what I am going to start today. I have to finish a novel and the END suddenly popped up in my mind a week ago. Everything seemed to converge to delay my getting down to writing but today is clear and I am all set. All the best to every one, Shirley

    Comment by Shirley Anderson — May 31, 2016

  2. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing that with us Shirley – enjoy your immersion 🙂

    Comment by Julia — June 2, 2016

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