Tina Athaide

A Meandering Mind

Tina now has a newsletter! A Meandering Mind…Thoughts on a Writer’s Life. Read the first issue below. If you’d like to sign up, visit the Contact page or fill out the form at the end of the post.


Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers-Unknown

Dear Writers,

I was thrilled to write a guest post on Sarah Aronson’s newsletter  until I sat down to begin writing and there was nothing. No ideas. Not even a little mustard seed sized idea.

Many of us have experienced that feeling of being STUCK. Whether it is in a job, a relationship, a story plot, or a character’s arc. My own students in elementary school will often say they are stuck. They don’t know what to write or how to solve a problem. 

Last week, Sarah talked about inviting calm into our lives and specifically into our writing lives. My calm comes from finding a space of SILENCE. That doesn’t always mean quietness. It is finding a space of silence that includes mindfulness. And then, in that space being mindful of what I am feeling, the frustration, the questions, the victories, and the possibilities. THEN, letting it all go!

That is when the creativity flows.
The answer appears.
You become UNSTUCK.

Mindfulness begins with the simple act of breathing. Being aware of your breath. Being alert, focused, and listening in whatever quiet space you have created for yourself. You can do this sitting down, but I have also welcomed mindfulness on my walks with my dog, Butler or while soaking in a bubble bath, and even while watching my students play at recess.

It is in that silence that answers flow, characters speak and ideas pops like mustard seeds sizzling in hot oil. But it doesn’t work if you are grasping for that creativity. Instead, remain open and allow space for the creativity to flow. Bringing mindfulness into my classroom has been one of the greatest gifts to my students. 

Bringing mindfulness into my writing life has been of the greatest gifts to myself. 

Are you ready to find your mindful space?

This morning, let’s try bringing the practice of mindfulness into our writing lives.

Reflect on your work and consider what is going well. What are you avoiding? What motivates you to come back to the story? What is your character trying to tell you? What are you forcing your character to do? Are there small victories you can celebrate? 

Then let it all go.

Find a place to sit, go for a walk, or doodle. Right now, I sit outside in the mornings with a hot cup of tea. I breathe in the crisp fall air and sink into the silence. 

Find your space.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Focus on your breath. 
Be aware of your surroundings. 
Listen.
Be patient.

The creativity will flow.

Have a great writing week! 


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