Naima's Published Titles

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Painting to Write

This time in Juicy Writing, Sharon reminded us that sometimes we work too hard. Tonight, instead of doing writing exercises, we would paint. I came into the session stressed and left completely relaxed. This is my painting you see here. 

I am a classic Type A. As fulfilling as writing and self-publishing are, I get really wound around the axle. I get really obsessive. I wake up every morning with an aching jaw from grinding my teeth and with my head a mental teleprompter endlessly scrolling a list of publishing tasks. I have to remind myself sometimes that I already have one stressful job. I did not choose to pursue my writing muse to give myself a second stressful job. It is precisely at those times when playing is just what my writing needs. 

To understand how this works, I recommend the book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. She suffered a massive stroke to her left hemisphere and lived with only her right during the first long stretch of her recovery. What she unexpectedly found was bliss. She lost her ego, lost her agenda, lost the concept of linear time, lost her need to be top dog, lost even her sense of physical separateness. Without these qualifiers, she felt constant love and joy. As she regained use of her left hemisphere, she had to develop mental habits that disciplined her left's dominant tendencies so that she could maintain inner peace.

One of the ways I maintain balance is through creative play, like painting. For you it may be throwing pots on a wheel or playing a round of golf before noon while the air is still fresh and cool. Something that absorbs your attention and brings you into Now. Something that has nothing riding on the outcome. This transfers your mental energy from the left hemisphere of your brain, which collects data and makes predictions based on its findings, to the right hemisphere, where creativity reigns and anything is considered possible. As writers, we need both hemispheres working in partnership, but for many of us left is dominant and really stifles right. So let Right out for a frolicsome run!

If you're interested in something like I do, you might check out Sharon's websites, and She's starting an online series of classes soon. Throughout the next year, she plans to branch out into a number of intuitive and creative subjects. Her newsletter will keep you informed as these opportunities arise.


  1. Thanks for sharing me in your blog! You are an awesome writer and I so believe in you!

  2. Thanks, Sharon! That's so nice to read :)