Feng Shui Your Writing
Welcome to the final installment of my 3-part series on using the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to help give a boost to your writing! Time to wrap up this series by covering the rest of the bagua octagon, as well as offering a couple final pointers.
Last time, I covered the Family, Fame, and Marriage zones. This month, I’ll be covering the final three Feng Shui “zones” in your home, as shown on the image below.
As a reminder, this bagua map is used to identify where each Feng Shui area exists in your own home or room. To use, mentally place the map so that the top “Career” line rests along the same wall as the entry door. You can apply the techniques described in this series to the entire house as a whole, to an individual room (say, your office?), or even to a small space like your writing desk. For an even greater impact, “echo” the effect by applying the guidelines to all three!
Here’s a quick recap of the 1-2-3 method approach I like to use when tackling a Feng Shui zone (I talked more in depth about this last month). First, streamline the area by getting rid of clutter and dust. Second, fix or nix anything that is broken (burnt out light bulbs, for instance). Move or apply Feng Shui “cures” for any element or color that works against the intention of that zone (for instance, curing a fireplace located in a zone where water is the natural element). Third, introduce elements, shapes, and colors into the zone that reflect the intention, as shown on the map.
Okay! Let’s move onto the final three zones.
As you’re standing in the center of your room/home facing the door, this area is located on the left wall. Optimizing this area is a boon for writers to enhance their creative flow! It’s also helpful for family authors, for maintaining a balance in this area helps boost the balance in our children’s lives as well. You might also notice on the bagua that it mentions the future...an important consideration for writers as well!
You’ll note on the bagua map that the natural element for this zone is Metal, and the color association is white. The shape correspondence to Metal is the circle or dome. White metals in this area are of particular use, especially if round. For instance, how about a round mirror on the wall here? Gold, silver, or bronze tones are good metallic-inspired accent colors for this zone. As Fire melts Metal, avoid reds, triangular shapes, candles or fire-related decor in this zone. A fireplace in the Children’s area can throw a child’s energy out of balance, and can thwart Creativity. Do you get writer’s block often? Scan this zone for fire-related shapes, colors, and elements and move or cure them.
2. Helpful People/Travel
While at first glance this zone in the left front corner might not seem like the most vital from a writer’s standpoint, it is actually quite essential. Boosting the propensity for people in your life to help you can be of great value when it comes to finding publishers, critique partners, beta readers, reviewers or promoters willing to take on your work, and more. Travel comes into play when you’re on the road doing signings or research, too.
As this is a “corner” zone, there is no natural element associated with it. However, whites, blacks, and grays are the attributed colors, which we have learned correspond to metal and water-inspired zones. I keep my Helpful People area largely white and black, with some pops of green to accent. I also have small electric tea candles that I light when I need help, or when someone I love is traveling—to help aid the path. Travel-related art/decor (travel souvenirs) are handy kept here, or to boost the Helpful People aspect, a picture wall containing friends or artwork denoting people helping their fellow man. Avoid clutter, jagged decor or sharp points here, as these can represent barriers to smooth travel or in getting help.
Standing in the middle of your home or room, you are in the midst of the Health area. The “heart” of your home is vital for obvious reasons, and keeping this area clear is believed to aid in your overall health.
The Health area’s element is Wood, so wood furnishings and oblong-shaped decor is useful here. Metal cuts Wood, and Fire burns it, so these should be used sparingly. Color associations for your Health area are yellows, greens, and browns. What I find most helpful for this area is to keep it clean, sparse, and free of clutter, which reduces blockages along the path to good health. Also, of particular use in this area is the inclusion of green plants—preferably live plants, which give off oxygen and promote positive chi in this zone. Avoid sharp plants and those with spiky-shaped leaves. A water fountain is also useful here, for stirring fresh chi.
That's it! We've come full circle (or should I say, full octagon) and have covered all nine zones.
Now that you have learned about the nine zones, which one is most important? The answer is: ALL of them combined. In order to stimulate your Wealth area, for example, you could clear a space there and add a money tree. You might even notice a difference. But to truly achieve the maximum benefit, there must be a balance in all areas. Wealth without health or a happy family to share it with can be a difficult thing. Achieve the greatest benefit to your writing career and life by making the up-front effort to implement Feng Shui in all nine zones. It will take a little time, depending on the scale you are tackling (home vs. room or desk), but the efforts are worth it.
Last month, I promised you one secret tip that will truly activate all the benefits of your Feng Shui efforts. KNOW YOUR INTENTION. As you work on your Wealth area, focus on WHY you are clearing clutter. WHY you are using the colors you are choosing. As you clean, imagine clearing a path that brings in money. Applying your mental energy to this process is a key that can help truly activate these techniques.
Finally, once you’ve got everything in place, keep things in order. I “activate” every zone once a week by dusting the area, clearing clutter that likes to creep in, and stirring positive chi by lighting a candle, burning incense, tinkling a windchime, or cleaning the fountain. And as I do, I think about why I am doing it. I picture my family laughing happily together while I straighten the Family area. I envision my reputation improving as I light candles in the Fame area, and so on. Feng Shui is a lifetime pursuit that can net you many rewards, in exchange for as little as a couple of minutes each day. I wish you the best in your efforts!
I hope you’ve found this series helpful. Next month, I’ll be giving my first quarterly update on my G.R.I.P.E. (Great Indie Pub Experiment) and introducing the next 3-month series. Until then, happy Feng Shui-ing!