The Monkey Mind in Writers…

In meditation, there is something called “the monkey mind”. This is the name for the way that, when you try to clear your mind and meditate, a zillion thoughts will jump up and try to distract you.

What am I going to make for dinner? I wonder what my boss meant by that? What am I going to do this weekend?

A clear and peaceful mind is a state that most of us aren’t used to. Many of us find it kind of unnerving, so we try to fill it up with “monkey chatter” so we don’t have to be alone with ourselves.

Writers have a variation of this problem. We’re fascinated by the world around us and many of us, at one point or another in the process of writing, will find distractions getting in the way of finishing.

My friend/child/dog wants me to come out to play Now! What do I want for dinner? ooo- there’s another story idea- shiney….

In meditation, it’s important not to fight the monkey mind. The more you fight, the harder the monkey clings and the louder it shrieks at you. Instead, the best option may be to acknowledge each errant thought, commit to looking at it later and then returning ones focus to the meditation.

As in

  • Ah, there’s another thought
  • and I will think about that later
  • but now I am going back to focusing on my breathing

Just as in meditation, a writer would do better not to fight the monkey mind, lest she end up covered in monkey handprints and poo.

Instead, acknowledge the thought, capture it for later and return your focus to the writing

And bring a clearer mind to finishing your writing

Catherine Kane


For more information on Catherine’s books, “Adventures in Palmistry”, “The Practical Empath – Surviving and Thriving as a Psychic Empath”, “Manifesting Something Better” her urban fantasy “The Lands That Lie Between”  and her latest book “The Psychic Power of Your Dreams”, all from Foresight Publications, click here

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