The Art of Mindful Writing: How to Be Your Reader

Will Franks 🌊
6 min readOct 15, 2018

Maybe you know the feeling.

Hunched-over, frantically typing, furrowed-brow?

Coffee jitters, 15 tabs open, anxiety mounting?

For many, writing is a drawn-out struggle to find the right words.

But it doesn’t have to be.

In this post I will share a powerful practical exercise for writing with mindful awareness, something I call being your reader. It will bring calm, clarity and simplicity to your words. To your mind, too, as you are writing.

Sound good? Let me explain.

It all comes down to whose perspective you are taking when you write.

Is it yours, or your reader’s? Let’s explore the difference.

Firstly, the fact that you are sitting here, doing your best to turn thoughts into words, already means that you have something to share. If you didn’t want to share it, you’d just sit around and think about it. But no, here you are — coffee, laptop and keyboard, ready to make something.

And if you plan to put these words out into the world, then you’re making a gift. A gift for your reader, given freely and generously, without expecting anything in return — and that’s a lovely thing to do.

It is very easy to forget this, especially in digital environments where our words are attached to a personal profile or avatar. Where we become absorbed in our self-image, worry about how we will come across and how we might be judged for what we say. These thoughts are extremely stultifying for good writing, for actually saying what we want to.

It’s a natural tendency of the human mind to worry about how others perceive us, but it is these very thoughts that produce the anxiety around writing that so many of us experience.

So how can we keep these thoughts in check while writing?

Well, the key difference between the calm, mindful writer and the anxious writer is this:

The anxious writer is thinking of herself, but the calm writer is thinking of her readers. The calm writer is sensitive to the experience of her reader. And that is the gateway to clear and lucid writing.

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Will Franks 🌊

A Heartbroken Terrified Warrior Who Is So Happy To Be Here. Meditator. Researcher. Soulmaker.