Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Renew Your Commitment Each Day

Renew Your Commitment Each Day is about making an intention to be present and to do your best to help others. The original lojong slogan is: Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end, which asks you to make this dedication at the start of the day, and then again at the end.

Every day is a fresh start. No matter what happened yesterday, even if you completely lost the plot, you can always start again today. This applies to every moment too – if you’re having a bad day, you can take a breath, clear your mind and make a commitment to start again.

So this slogan encourages you to renew your commitment to your practice when you get up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night. You might like to actually state your intention out loud or incorporate it into your daily meditation practice.

Either say or mentally think to yourself something like: “May I be present,” or “May my actions be of benefit to others.” You can use your own words and make an intention that means something to you.

Apply this slogan to your writing practice by making a commitment to write every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes.

If you’re a writer then writing is an essential part of your life. That may seem like an obvious statement, but if you don’t acknowledge the importance of your writing practice you can’t expect to make the most of it. When you don’t respect your need to write, you allow other parts of your life to encroach on your writing time, you dismiss creative ideas before they have a chance to take root, and you allow doubt to cripple your motivation and self-belief.

If you really want to write, you’ll find a way to make it happen. But don’t take it for granted that you’ll write – actually make a statement to that effect. When you get up in the morning, say or think to yourself, “I will write today.” If you want to make sure you really get the message, say, “I will write today because I care about my writing.”

This slogan encourages you to check in with yourself at the end of the day too. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t write, just look at what happened honestly, and make a fresh commitment to try again tomorrow.

Your writing prompt this weekend: Write your own commitment prayer or statement. Perhaps you could type it up on a piece of card and get it laminated, or stick it on a Post-it so you can see it where you write.

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers


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