Unleashing Your Writing Genius
Do you have a writing genius state? That is, do you have a wonderful state of focus, clarity, and resourcefulness when you sit down to write? Do you have the kind of state where you feel “on,” “at your best,” and with mental clarity that accesses all of your writing resources so that you can do your best writing and come away from the experiencing thinking, ”That was better than sex!”?
Surely, you have had moments when you had something on your mind and when you sat down, your thoughts just poured out with an ease and grace so that it felt magical. In those moments, you might have written a short story, a poem, a description, a letter to a lover, an entrance in a journal. Whatever the content of the writing, the experience of writing seemed like something that was beyond you, it felt as if the writing was writing itself. That’s the writing genius state.
It is also the state of what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow, a state of optimal experience where the challenges and meanings beckoning you forward where perfectly matched by your competencies and performances. Rather than being overwhelmed with too much challenge—challenges that far exceed your abilities, you were able to meet the challenges in your writing performance. And rather than the challenge being too easy or too simple, so that you felt bored with skills that far out-paced the experience, you felt excited or even ecstatic by the meaningfulness of the challenge. All of this describes the genius writing state.
How You Kill your Genius
Now if you have never experienced it for even a few precious moments, then my best guess is that your natural genius state has been beaten out of you in grammar school.
At some time or place, somebody probably helped you “learn” such things as the following
- Writing is hard.
- I’m no good at grammar.
- You just have to wait for inspiration.
- Skilled writing is something that a few gifted people are just born with. You’ve got to write it right the first time.
These are the kinds of mis-conceptions about writing that will dampen, and even kill, your writing genius state. Or perhaps some teacher helped you install a phobia of writing by getting you to set a judgment frame of mind so that you judge your writing as you write. Or, even more effective, you have learned how to begin judging and criticizing yourself and your writing before you begin! All you have to do is think about writing and you access a powerful state of self-insults, self-attacks, and self-contempt. I have actually met quite a number of people who were incredibly skilled at contempting themselves and putting themselves down before they ever put one word on paper!
The Vision of Unleashing your Writing Genius
Here’s something I believe. I believe that all of us were born for “genius.”
In using the term genius I’m not talking about having a high I.Q., I am talking about being totally present and engaged with all of your resources available in what you do. That’s the genius state in Neuro-Semantics.
There’s a secret that makes flow or the genius state so powerful. It is this—you are all there. Rather than multi-tasking with a dozen things on your mind, in the flow state you experience a focus that gives you a laser-beam intentionality because all of you is focused on one thing. That’s why the engagement seems to bring out so much more in you.
That you were born for this state can be seen by looking at small children at play. If it’s been awhile since you have really looked at children playing, look again. Really look. Notice how engrossed they become. How fully present they can be so that the world goes away, time goes away, people go away, and they get completely lost in the moment. They are completely present. They are living in the eternal moment. And they can do that while playing a game, watching a bug, inventing a house out of a bunch of old cardboard boxes, eating an ice cream cone, etc. That’s why I believe we were born for full presence and engagement. The total focus state of absolute engagement is our heritage nad natural state. It is later that we leave paradise. It is later that we are kicked out of that magical state, mostly by toxic and stupid beliefs.
But, suppose now that you could call on this state at any moment. Imagine that! Suppose that, like a light switch, you could flip a switch inside yourself and step into a genius state of focus and flow whenever you choose. Would you like that? Would that create a whole new level of performance and enjoyment for you? Would that enable you to actualize more of your potentials?
Now you can! This is precisely the subject of our training entitled APG (Accessing Personal Genius) that we use in Neuro-Semantics to introduce the Meta-States model. When I first began thinking about how to present the Meta-States model, I happened upon a dozen states — simple states, primary states, states that make up the very prerequisites of genius or mastery. So, I decided to put those states (joy, pleasure, power, ownership, validation, dis-validation, intentionality, etc.) into a package for re-accessing the lost-in-an-engagement state. Today, that is the APG training.1
When I unleashed my own Genius Writing State
I unleashed my writing genius state in 1995 immediately after I created the Meta-States model. I did that for several reasons. First, I wanted to use the model for setting a higher state (or frame) of mind so that when I picked up a book to read, I could stay focused and not have my mind wander to a dozen other things.
At the time I found that the more I attempted to read, the less effective my reading. I would begin reading a paragraph and find myself thinking about other things I had to do, other commitments that I needed to finish, and so on. I could even point to each and every word with my finger, gaze at the words with my eyes, and later realize that I had been off on some mental trip. So while I could force my eyes to see the words, none got in! So I began to re-read the paragraph.
Given the waste of all that energy and the non-productiveness of that, I created my first “genius” state to be a reading state. Suddenly, my ability to get absolutely lost in a book was like being a child! I was now able to be completely present in that engagement and that allowed me to read more, comprehend more, and use my readings more effectively.
So then I ran the pattern with regard to writing. And suddenly, instead of writer’s block and having the experience of staring for minutes at a time at a blank page, I was writing with ease and grace. Here too I would find myself so engaged and lost in expressing my thoughts that in writing, I would get lost as time, others, self, and the world would disappear. That happened in 1995 and that was the last time I experienced “writer’s block.” After that I averaged writing three books a year, several training manuals a year, and hundreds of articles. Today I write over 100 articles a year (two or three a week) and complete two or three books along with many other pieces and it doesn’t seem like work at all.
Several years of writing then passed and I began to get a reputation of being a “prolific writer.” When I first began hearing people describe me in that way, I felt surprised, even shocked. Who me? No way! Then people started asking me for my “secret.”
“ Secret? There’s no secret. I just write. ”
Yet as the requests for learning the secret continued, and I had published my twentieth book, I decided to use the meta-stating of genius pattern with others in one-on-one coaching and in workshops. That brought another source of delight, helping people access their writing genius and seeing them write articles, papers, stories, and books. Since then I have trained the Writing Genius workshop many times in the USA, England, South Africa, and Australia.
How do you create this writing genius state, get into it, and solidify it so that you can have it at any time? As a quick overview, access your best writing state. Recall a time when you were easily putting down on paper or typing on a keyboard and reaccess as much of that state as possible. Notice all of the physiologies of that state—your posture, breathing, muscle tension, movements, etc. As you recapture more and more of it, take a mental snapshot of it in all systems, visually, auditorially, kinesthetically, etc. Now step out of it. After you break state and release that state, step back into it. Do this again and again until you can step in and out of it cleanly.
Each time, make sure you let the state go completely and step out into a neutral state of just observing your surroundings. As you do this, you may want to image the state contained in a sphere or that you step through a boundary like a Star Gate liquid energy field. Such metaphors usually help to anchor and distinguish the feeling,
“ Now I’m in it; now I’m not.”
Once you have built up a lot of the state, relax into it fully and let another part of your mind, your highest executive self decide such questions as when and where to have this state, how, why, your highest intentions, the meanings of it, what emergencies to allow to interrupt you, etc. By commissioning the executive part of your mind that makes decisions, you’ll build a higher frame to govern the state so that you don’t have to double track. There’s more to this pattern, but that’s an overview. If you would like to experience it in a training, we run it in every APG and “Coaching Genius” training. Or you could get a Meta-Coach to coach you through it.
Ready for Unleashing?
If you can think thoughts, if you can speak words, then you can write and write with ease and grace. It’s a possibility! You can write prolifically and you can write with clarity and precision. You can learn to write with power and persuasion. How? Mostly by learning how to eliminate the interferences to your natural genius. And that primarily means learning to access a pure state of experiencing and engaging without judgement and evaluation.
This describes one of the first resources for meta-state your writing-engagement state with—that of just observing and being present. Do that and you will then tame or slay all of the dragons of judgment, criticism, and insult. Then you’ll be able to do “free-writing.” Like “thinking out-loud,” free-writing is a skill that opens the faulcet of thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Over the years of facilitating others in accessing their writing genius, I’ve discovered lots of the mis-notions and myths about writing that have dampened the experience. Many have to do with perfectionism (“I have to write it right the first time”), others with time (“I don’t have time; and five minutes of writing doesn’t count”), others with self-judgment (“I don’t have anything to write or contribute”). Yet these and other toxic ideas are just frames—frames that govern and control our inner game and which determines our outer games of performance. And when it comes to improving the quality of your life and the level of your performance, the key is your inner game. Win that and the outer game is a cinch.
Ready for unleashing?
is to catch the vision and that’s what I have mostly sought to do here.
is to identify and change your inner game of frames.
And, in a word,
that’s what Neuro-Semantics is all about and the focus of what we do in coaching, training and consulting.
Here’s to your highest and best as a writer!
1. Not only is this the subject content and theme of APG training, but you can find it also in The Secrets of Personal Mastery (1999).
For a schedule of APG and other trainings, see www.neuro-semantics-trainings.com.