Meditation has taught me to forgive myself. When you have your eyes closed and you’re trying to concentrate on breathing, your mind drifts towards thoughts. It’s like trying to stare at the constellation, but the shooting stars catch your attention. You try to follow everyone to the Earth. Then you remember to look only at the constellation, but you’re hard on yourself for having taken your attention away from it. You tell yourself that it was alright to do that and you move on, staring at the constellation.
I want to apply this to writing. As I write, I feel a critic standing over my shoulder, telling me what’s wrong with my work. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only a first draft and it will be better. I go back to the constellation of words before me, but he shows up eventually.
A writer friend of mine once said that Aikido is the most beautiful art form he’s studied. Ironically, he and I are involved in the one of the ugliest forms of expression there is. Writing.
Writing is a war with oneself measured by the character. No wonder it’s so unforgiving. No wonder it’s so rewarding.