Learning to listen to be able to write

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

In order to have something to write about you need to have that something, right? Capturing your feelings, thoughts, the inner intuitive voice or your body language is a skill that can be improved. As with everything else, practice is the key. Writing is your tool to learn to listen, since as long as you have the intention of writing down what is happening inside you – you need to catch it somehow.

Your mind, your body is constantly sending you messages – on a more subtle level than ads on a website, or a movie playing on TV. They can yell if you are not listening – stress and pain are good signs of neglected messages of yourself.

As always, start with one area and develop your skill to listen. I suggest the following, but feel free to choose something else that is more suitable for you.

Listening to feelings

Choose one feeling that is dominant in your life – joy, fear, happiness, anger, anxiety, doubt, kindness, love, fascination, freedom, and so on. A feeling you know, it comes often, you can easily identify it. Describe and write down a situation from the past when you felt it. Now commit to paying attention to this feeling for a week. Try to write everyday about it, jot down the situations related.

Listening to thoughts

First of all, what is a thought? An idea or opinion occurring in the mind – the definition I put together for myself after browsing about it for a while. So you have an idea, or you have an opinion about something. Now narrow it down to a topic – ideas about work, about school, children or your spouse, or you form an opinion about a person, an issue or a book. Anything, but be specific. Again, commit to paying attention to your thoughts popping up concerning your chosen topic. Write about it every day even if you did not capture the thought or did not have any – the act of writing is very important to stick to.

Listening to the still small voice

Intuition is a resource that can be tapped. You feel you should be turning left instead of right; something tells you that you should choose this applicant over the other one; or you cook dinner without a recipe just mixing together what feels right. It can be ordinary and extraordinary, and I am sure you can list events when your decision was not based upon rational reasons, but rather intuitive insights. Recall an experience, and write it down. Then commit to listen for a week, do as I suggested above.

Listening to your body

As a healthy person I am grateful for my body and try to take good care of it. As I like saying, “my body and I are in a good relationship”. It was not always this way, although I was never really sick. Slowly, I learned the affect of food on my body; what feels good and what does not; moves and exercises that are appropriate. These are the two areas I would suggest for a start: explore how food affects you (choose one type: dairy, meat, wheat, starch, sugar, veggies or fruits) or see how exercise (anything from walking to weightlifting) affects your body. Write your experiences for a week. 

Do you have any other basic topics to sharpen your attention and help you learn to listen?


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