Mental Feng Shui

Some of you may or may not know what I mean when I say ‘Mental Feng Shui’… but I know what I mean. For me, one of the hardest things about being a writer is maintaining the mental feng shui balance within myself.

I find that writers are creatures of habit. Cups of tea and coffee are poured as part of the writing ritual. Chocolate is devoured. And every now and then we head towards nature to renew the inspirations. I also believe that we are a superstitious lot. An example of this is when I’m having a downright rotten day, and I decide to write – I light a candle to banish away all the negative energy that is circling around inside me. 

But each of these little habitual rituals is part of what balances our mental feng shui. It’s a bit like tuning a radio to get a good signal. You have to hit the right spot first before you will hear any clarity of sound. With us, it revolves around coffee, chocolate, or even lighting a candle to help us tune into the creative airwaves. This is a fine balancing act.

Sometimes, though, static gets in the way, and therefore throws out all sense of balance that we strive to maintain. This can come in an array of different forms. Some days, we just don’t feel like it, and suddenly the TV seems so much more interesting. Other days we pick up a really good book to read, and can’t seem to keep our noses out of it till we finish. And as much as we absolutely adore our friends and family who support and love us constantly, they get in the way as well. 

Invitations to parties, dinner, movies, lunch, anything… If we writers are in the middle of some sort of creative winning streak – we start turning down those invites. I know that if I drink too much alcohol, then the next day I will be completely incapable of anything creative. Some friends understand, which is wonderful, but others can start to get a bit fickle about whether or not they will continue to invite us to spend time with them. My Dad who was staying with me last week told me that my Mother has been complaining to him about not being able to get hold of me. This is probably because I turn all the phones off if I’m in the middle of writing new worlds, and the characters that live within them. I just can’t afford to be distracted by the phone.

Two weekends ago, we had a bit of a graduation party at our house for one of my closest friends. Did I get any writing done that weekend? Erm. *blush* No. Why? Because I was busy entertaining, chattering away, and when the people had left, I then cleaned, and put everything back together again. Then that same friend had an issue on the road about twenty kilometres north of where I live, and we had to execute a rescue mission. My father then arrived to stay a couple of days after that. Needless to say, that was a solid week where absolutely no writing work was done. Zilch. My feng shui has been right royally screwed with.

This coming weekend is a long weekend in New Zealand, where I would normally be very excited to be able to spend three consecutive days writing… however we are off to work on the holiday house. Some friends are even coming to help! Gah! It needs to be done, and believe me, I wouldn’t be miserable about it if I had some decent writing miles behind me for the month of May. But I don’t, and it’s seriously upsetting me.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to rise early to get in my writing mileage without distraction. However, today is a new month.

Now, if I had the luxury of writing full time at home, then I could probably sort this mess out. Speaking of home, I have been getting more and more upset with my favourite room – my library. It’s a beautiful room, but it’s in such a pigsty. I can’t cope, and yet I don’t want to deal with it either. Some of the mess actually isn’t mine, but I’ll leave that ‘particular subject’ alone. But I will say one thing… When that ‘particular subject’ steps into my library, and proceeds to mess up this beautiful space that I have carved out of our house for myself, I get extremely pissed off. Yeah, I’m talking about the amount of crap that’s left lying around, equipment left on, dirty coffee cups, books moved about, or whatever. So, over the past few days I have been thinking very hard on my library, and the current tip that it’s in. And I think that I need to move it around to get a better sense of actual feng shui balance in there. I’m not happy about the state that it’s in, so therefore I would like to do something about it. If possible. Wish me luck on that one! I’m hoping that once I am happy with the room again, it will assist with getting my mental feng shui back in alignment.

In winter I am a hermit, and I’m happy like that. Even in the summer, I can be a bit of a hermit. I enjoy my own company, and I enjoy chatting to my characters in my head. And I love writing, because it makes me feel such an awesome sense of elation when things seem to be falling into place. It’s the way I have chosen to live my life. Friends and family are extremely important though, as they are the people you turn to when you need them. I think that I just need to find some sort of way to balance out my mental feng shui with those people included in there.


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  1. I struggle currently with my writing space and finding peace there. Not quite sure what I need, but I do need to think on it and make a change. Good luck with your changes…


    1. Thank you Deena, yes, looking forward to getting a few things sorted out. Printed out a bunch amazing images this morning so that I can plaster my real day job office with them. Sick of looking at crappy walls. See? Look at me!? Feng shui-ing everything at the moment 🙂


  2. Right there with you, Leigh! I like my hermitage and while I enjoy spending the time with family and friends, I cannot wait to go back to my slice of solace. I haven’t done much research on Feng Shui. I am a creature of habit though. I like great music, a continuous cup of tea (oh that there was an automatically refilling cup–even if all it gave me was hot water!)–so I get more exercise that I think since I’m always going up and down stairs to get more–and a clean house. And lots and lots of books lying around everywhere.

    Hope you get your groove back. Enjoy the weekend with your friends and get that house work done!


    1. I can’t say I’m looking forward to working on the house, but I can say that I’m looking forward to getting out of town for a couple of days. Even though it’s going to be really hard yucky work.
      I just need to make sure I pay attention to my writing at the same time, I think!
      Most of us writers are similar in our own wee habits – and I think that ultimately is how our own mental balance/feng shui really works.


  3. the going out and the coming in are equally important, Leigh. Don’t beat yourself up. We have to live and get out into the world so that we have the material and the freshness to get back to our writing. Must say though that I cannot settle to the pen/keyboard unless my space is clear and clean…..groan! I’ve had a lesson in letting even that go this week. I fell and broke a rib on Sunday and cannot bend over. You’d be surprised a) how many things I drop in a day b) how much housework involves bending over!


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