This blog is concerned with the sacral chakra, second from the bottom. It’s all about Your Body Chemistry, Your Writing. [If you’re looking for more tips on writing a book, visit my complete guide on writing a novel.]
Irish writer and poet Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy and learned to paint and write with the only part of his body not affected by paralysis, his left foot. His autobiography, My Left Foot, was made into a movie of the same name starring Daniel Day Lewis (1989).
Christy Brown (1932-1981)
British writer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) is believed to have suffered from Migraine with Aura, a condition that causes temporary visual or sensory disturbances. The question is: Did he suffer from what is now called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, whose symptoms include feeling as if your body is too big or too small?
Whatever else is true about Carroll he obviously had a lively imagination, and I don’t want to say that his unusual brain chemistry or a tumor pressing against his frontal lobe or some such thing produced his literary output.
Body Chemistry and Writing
However, if you’re interested in the relationship between artists and their body chemistry, read Kay Jamison’s fascinating Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (1996). Famous writers suffering from the depressive condition that Hemingway called The Artist’s Reward include: Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling and Mark Twain. For a recent look at hip hop artists suffering from depression, see:
My point here is three-fold:
First, I acknowledge that artistic creation can occur in bodies not considered to be in optimum health.
Second, it may be that certain kinds of non-optimum health states correlate with artistic production.
Third, the first two points being said, I’d like to suggest that good health can contribute to artistic production as much as anything else. And, okay, I’ll admit that this past week or more I’ve been obsessed with ideas centered around the lower back, that is, having a flexible one.
We’re talking about the sacral chakra here, which is considered to be the center of pleasure, enjoyment and creativity. Its color is orange and is associated with warmth and emotion.
Do I have your attention, Romance Writers? It’s your body, your writing.
A person with a balanced sacral chakra is open to the world. This person has energy, compassion, grounded intuition, emotional stability and a zest for life.
Not a bad place to be writing from – Your Body, Your Writing!
So, for writing warm-up, let me now recommend hip openers to unblock your sacral chakra of the kind:
Cobbler’s Pose or Baddha Konasana
Happy Baby or Ananda Balasana
Reciprocally, I think that writing itself has health benefits – at least, for me. It is emotionally regulating. It balances me out.
Health Benefits of Writing
I was the kid in grade school who consistently got a ✓- on her report card in the category Ability to Control Emotions. I don’t know what I was doing – probably laughing and crying – but whatever it was I was apparently emoting above the norm. As a kid, I hated being graded on my emotions, especially graded down for them, but as an adult I think I’ve got them under control – although when I’m really into what I’m saying (and I don’t usually bother saying things I’m not into), I believe I speak with what is perceived as passion. In any case, to the extent that I have my emotions under control, I know that my chosen narrative form, the romance, has helped.
Romances are comedies, however serious in tone or however harrowing the events the characters undergo may be. They are stories of union, togetherness, warmth, love, sexual pleasure. They absorb my excess emotions and, in fact, are the perfect sacral chakra narrative form through which I express my emotions.
I grew up in a stable family (with its own dysfunctions, but such is the nature of families), lived in a middle-class suburb, went to decent schools, ate good food, played outside, and suffered neither from sexual abuse nor any sort of mental illness. As a writer, I think I can access the dark side of human emotion, but I’ve long known that, with my particular personality and imagination, I was never destined to write an Oprah book or even one that would be taken seriously by the literary establishment.
I’m not a tortured artist. I’m a pretty darned happy one.
How about your body, your writing?
See also: Health Tips for Writers
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen