Excerpted. To read the rest of the review, visit Sweeping Zen.
In the case of The Mindful Writer (2012), which I consider just such a book, Moore and the well-known authors he quotes and explicates compel us to just drop the book and live the moment—to notice the surroundings, to sit down at the writing desk, to catch a thought on the page and see where it might lead.
Moore’s central assertion is that mindfulness is essential for a fruitful, truly satisfying writing life. Writing is life, and life is writing, and so it follows that what is true of every other aspect of life is also true of writing.
Moore establishes this assertion by defining the mindful writer as one who remains “attentive to the task at hand, seeing the words that are before you, hearing the possibilities in your mind, not succumbing to the thousands of other willing and ready distractions” (7).
To further clarify, he adapts the Four Noble Truths to the life of the writer:
The writing life is difficult, full of disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Much of this dissatisfaction comes from the ego, from our insistence on controlling both the process of writing and how the world reacts to what we have written.
There is a way to lessen the disappointment and dissatisfaction and to live a more fruitful writing life.
The way to accomplish this is to make both the practice of writing and the work itself less about ourselves. To thrive, we must be mindful of our motives and our attachment to desired outcomes. (8)