It’s human nature for our minds to wander from time to time. In fact, yours could be wandering right now. You could be thinking about what you ate for lunch and what you “should” have eaten. You could be worrying about unpaid bills, an unfinished writing project, or a promised deadline to your publisher.

Take a minute and give your mind full permission to wander. Notice where it goes without trying to change anything. This counterintuitive strategy is much like leaning into a curve when riding a motorcycle — even though your thoughts might try to get you to lean the opposite way. This practice can actually relax the mind because we’re leaning in by noticing, not struggling to make something happen.

Like Grand Central Station, wandering minds have so many thoughts coming and going they prevent us from being fully present during our writing moments and from pausing and catching our breath. Studies show when we stray, we pay — we’re more stressed-out and unhappy when our minds wander than when we stay in the here and now. We’re happier no matter what we’re doing — even working overtime, vacuuming, or stuck in traffic — if we’re focused on the activity instead of thinking about something else.

Today’s Takeaway

Pay attention and fully engage in each moment to keep your mind relaxed and alert at the same time; your writing will take on a fresh glow plus well-being and productivity will soar.

Excerpt from Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan E. Robinson, PhD, with permission from the author and publisher.

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  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Journalist, psychotherapist, and Author of 40 books.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest books are CHAINED TO THE DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD: A GUIDE TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE (New York University Press, 2023)#CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow, 2019), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a regular contributor to, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." website: