On one side of the fence – normal reality, and on the other side – ultimate reality. The fence is our thoughts – confusing, banal, uncomfortable and very, very sticky. To move our consciousness from normal reality to ultimate reality, we have to bring down that fence.

Mantras (repeated truths in the form of syllables, words or phrases) help us to do that in these ways:

  1. Destruction. They break down a part of the fence, by replacing thoughts with no thoughts.
  2. Creation. They build a gate for us to pass through, by virtue of their essential truth or guiding principle.
  3. Sustenance. They keep the gate open for us to pass through at will, by maintaining patterns of no thought.

It should be fairly obvious how useful this could be to your writing practice.

Consider the three steps in turn:

  1. Destruction. How many times have you wanted to write, but have said to yourself – I just need to do a, b and c before I start writing? And how often is it that you have run through a whole alphabet of stuff without writing one single word? One mantra, sincerely spoken, can clear your mind of all your unnecessary tasks and allow you to focus on what is important to you, aka writing – right?
  2. Creation. Let’s face it – writing is no walk in the park – the act of constructing a novel, with all its myriad parts and aspects, requires a clear head and a concentrated intellect. Finding a way through to a state of mind where these conditions exist is like finding a big wad of bank-notes down the back of your sofa.
  3. Sustenance. Writing takes time. Do I really need to tell you that the longer you can keep your mind cool, clean and clear whilst the writing is going on, the better off you will be. C’mon now – this is basic stuff. Oh, and it also helps if you lock your phone in another room, turn off the TV, and use Google instead of Yahoo (too many interesting  news items) to search for synonyms for ‘not now honey, I’m writing’.

And if mantras don’t float your boat as a way of clearing your mind, then try this instead. Lean right back on your chair until your face is parallel to the ceiling and then imagine that the white expanse that now appears to be below you is, in fact, the floor. This powerful delusion will persuade you that your room is clear of distractions and will allow you to concentrate enough to write.

Don’t try this if you are prone to dizzy spe …

Oh, you fell off the chair – sorry about that!

Yes, you’re right, on reflection I should have warned you about that, before telling you to lean right back. However, in my defence, I didn’t realise how gullible you were.


The best way to recover from that is to send me £100 cash right now.

Yes I can give you a receipt.

Yes, of course it’ll be tax deductible!

Yes, yes, yes, of course I can send you a written guarantee, now send the cash already!!