I may have shared with you in the past that I take a Tai Chi class. I signed up for it last spring and have been trying to learn (sometimes successfully and sometimes not) the art and science of it ever since. Tai Chi is a form of exercise, relaxation, and martial arts rolled into one. And even though the moves appear easy, I am here to tell you that it is NOT as easy as it looks. But then things that are truly worthwhile are never easy to accomplish.
One of the fundamental ideas of Tai Chi is finding your ‘root place’ which is where you center your energy and ground yourself to the earth. Usually this is done through your feet. They are the funnel for your connection with the earth and energy gained from it. As a writer, I find this concept intriguing. Ultimately each time I create a story I center myself in a new root place. And if I’m doing it the ‘right way’ I can gain energy from this creation and share it with my readers.
My instructor says that repeating the Tai Chi movements over and over and over again creates muscle memories. At some point I will not have to think to complete the motions. Once I’m able to not concentrate on what comes next, the real fun begins.
And as I go through the motions of developing setting, plot, character, and conflict in my stories, I’m training myself to become a better writer. Not that I will ever be able to complete a story without thinking, but if the basics become second nature to me, then I can spend the time making the story all the more richer. I can strengthen my writing muscle memories which allow me to start with a strong foundation and then my creativity can be spent on the ‘good stuff’ in the story.
Tai Chi is not something that can be taught overnight. For many, it takes years to simply learn the movements. And one of the most important things that this class has taught me so far is the art of patience. And that is something that can definitely be applied to my writing as well. I am still learning and will continue to grow as a writer throughout my career. I will always have an opportunity to become better at what I do, to ground myself into a new root place and take you with me.