Writers On Writing / Walter Mason on meditation and spreading smiles

‘I want writing to remain a delight, and to remind myself that it is an opportunity to spread love and a few smiles.’

Walter Mason is a travel writer and blogger, and the author of Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia.  He has trained in meditation traditions in Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and Vietnam, and teaches courses in Buddhist cultural history and the spiritual traditions of Vietnam.

How do mindfulness and meditation support your creative writing practice?
It definitely helps make me more aware of the world around me, of the wonderful things I encounter each moment. It helps me to delight in the small and the commonplace, and to bring a creative eye to things I might otherwise walk straight past. I also like to sit in silence for a little while in front of my computer, set the chime timer on my phone and just close my eyes, asking myself the question: What is it I need to write today? It puts me in a very connected state of mind.

What is a writing walk? Where have you practiced this technique?
A writing walk takes you out into the field to apply all of the meditative techniques that work perfectly in quietness and stillness, but are harder to apply on the road. I do it often – once or twice a month.  I just did one in Adelaide, taking an hour or so to wander with no goal or destination, but the intention to stop frequently and record my thoughts and observations.

How can you cultivate play while taking your commitment to writing seriously?
An element of fun always helps, and it definitely lifts the writer and the reader. In learning to laugh at yourself and your creative dreams you can approach the whole crazy process a little more lightly. I want writing to remain a delight, and to remind myself that it is an opportunity to spread love and a few smiles. Even if they are only half-smiles sometimes. Can I put an emoji in here?

Join Walter for some guidance in meditation and creativity in The Mindful Writer: 4 x Tuesday evenings: 1, 8, 15, 22 August, 6:30-9:30pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre.

Related Newsbites

July 23, 2020

Writers On Writing / Make 2020 the year you write a novel, with Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire’s course, Year of the Novel (phase 3), is now online and open to writers across NSW and Australia. We chatted to her about what writers can expect from the 8-week course.

July 9, 2020

Writers On Writing / Linda Funnell on seeing potential in a manuscript

We chatted to experienced editor and publisher Linda Funnell, ahead of her course Online Feedback: Manuscript Development, about what she looks for in a great manuscript, what makes a good relationship between a writer and their editor, and what she’s reading at the moment.