The Good Type of Body Consciousness by Claire Morgan

posted Apr 5, 2018, 11:39 AM by Writing Center
Imagine yourself writing—an essay, a poem, a story—whatever you choose.

Where are you? Are you at a desk? Sitting at the kitchen table?

Are you in the library? Perhaps you’re even lounging in bed.  

Wherever you imagine yourself, just make sure you’re writing. Got it?

Okay—now try changing your imagined location: perhaps, to a busy place or anywhere you wouldn’t normally write.

Once you’re there, change your imagined body position.

Perhaps you now see yourself standing up, scribbling in the middle of a busy indoor shopping mall. Or lying down in a rapidly running river, struggling to hold a notepad above your head.

“No,” you might be thinking, “I could never write like that, in a place like that.” And you’re probably right.

“So what—I like to write in a certain place, with my body posed a certain way. What’s your point?”

My point is that body has a key role in the writing process. Writing is as much a physical act as it is a mental one. We think while typing or moving our pen. The two go hand in hand (pun very much intended).

But how often do we actually consider the physical part of writing? After we learned to sit up straight in our desks, print words neatly, and type with all of our fingers, did we completely forget about this important connection?

I remember many occasions during undergrad where I would sit and stare at the blinking cursor on my computer. I didn’t know where to start—or maybe I had already started, and didn’t know where to go. I responded to this frustration by walking away from my writing, hoping to return later with a fresh perspective.

However, I’d often find myself facing the same issue later on—and would end up turning in something I didn’t fully believe in. It was only later that I realized moving to a new room, changing my sitting position, lighting a candle, and even playing a specific type of music were all tools I had been missing out on in my writing process.

So, next time you find yourself in a writing rut—switch things up. Face the window, go outside, move around a bit—give your writing some wiggle room. Trust me, your body has some things to add to the conversation!

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