Writing can become much more fulfilling if we think of it as happening right Now. Much is lost when we overlook the present moment because we forfeit rewarding writing experiences in exchange for stress, frustration, boredom, fear, and shortchanged invention and creativity (it’s a poor bargain). Through mindfulness, we can reduce our writing apprehension and the writing blocks that come from future- or past-oriented thinking. Every moment can become a prolific moment: we can write more quickly and with greater ease of mind. In this presentation, we discuss writing tools that emerge when present time is highlighted: impermanence, audience demons, monkey mind self-talk, and preconceptions about writing ability and writing task. Participants will learn basic strategies to incorporate mindfulness into their writing lives. 

Alexandria Peary serves as New Hampshire’s Poet Laureate. She holds MFAs in Poetry from the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in English from the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of six books and over 150 shorter pieces in leading literary and scholarly journals. Her work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Slope Editions Book Prize, and an Outstanding Book Award nomination from the Conference of College Composition and Communication. She specializes in helping others with problems in writing confidence and has developed a system of mindful writing that can be found in her book, Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing (Routledge 2018), as well as in her 2019 TEDx talk, “How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write." A former state policy analyst for National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Alexandria serves as the History Editor at the Journal of Creative Writing Studies. She is a professor in the English Department at Salem State University and lives in Londonderry, NH, with her husband and two daughters.