Five Tips to Help Your Writing Practice During Mercury Rx in Capricorn

As you’ve probably read from me before, I think Mercury Rx gets a bad rap. Sure, this frequent (4x/year) planetary event can wreak havoc on communication of all kinds, technology (including our computers and cell phones), travel plans… and more. But it’s also a good time to slow way down (maybe even stop), reflect, rethink, reassess, revise…

This one went retrograde on 12/29, and it’s in practical, over-achieving Capricorn. So, think: order and organization, reviewing and redoing—to get it right. This Rx will go a long way in helping us all recalibrate and return to lapsed projects, as well as providing us with the time and head space to reconsider how we might achieve goals and complete projects in the months ahead.

So… if you have a writing project that’s gathering dust, or if you finished one and could use a little time to reread and polish before you start submitting it to publications or querying agents, now’s the time.

Here are five tips to help your writing practice and get 2023 off to a satisfying start:

  • Revise your work—Whether you’ve written an essay or a short story, a memoir or a novel, give your prolific brain a respite, take your piece of art, and settle in for a read. Chances are, any revision that’s needed will make itself crystal clear to you. Read “First Draft Finished. Now What? The Difference Between Revising and Editing.”
  • Remember your body—As I’ve written many times, writing is a whole body experience, so now is a great time to get back in touch with your unique physicality and give it what it needs. To start with, incorporating a writer’s walk into your day is a great way to clear your mind. When you tend to your vessel in this way, it will repay you with not only the benefits of low-impact exercise, but it will also maintain the flow of your creative life force (your chi). Read “Five Non-Negotiable Must-Dos to Maintain the Health of Your Writerly Body and Soul.”
  • Recommit to you—It’s way too easy to get distracted from our creative impulses and goals. Living in a capitalist culture, which is designed to direct our focus to working for others to survive (and support their growth in the process), it takes a warrior spirit to keep a clear eye on your own creative projects. If you have the impulse to create—whether it’s writing or some other artistic form or medium—it’s a sign that the world is responding to your innate abilities and asking that you add to the profound life energy that moves in, through, and around us every day. And as I have always told my clients, when you honor your impulse to write, it’s an act of self-love. Read “Want to write? Invest in yourself.”
  • Reassess your writing goals—Sometimes, we start a project and find ourselves stuck, unable to move forward. It could be that we need a break from it to give it time to reshuffle in our brains and our hearts. It could also be that it’s a project that we can let go of—if not indefinitely, at least for now. Give yourself the compassion and latitude to put projects to rest when they—and you—need it. Read “The Power of Slowing Down to Create.”
  • Rethink how you spend your time—Getting caught up in our day-to-day routines can happen slowly and insidiously because the afore-mentioned capitalist culture we all live in can keep us distracted, even numbed. Carve out a few hours and take the time to plot out a new approach to your minutes, hours, days… Let go of unhelpful habits that interfere with your time and ability to write… Read “Why You Aren’t Writing — Reason #4.”

If taking on all five of these tips feels overwhelming, pick one or two. Starting somewhere is starting… And it’s what we have to do if we want to finish.

Wishing you a fulfilling and productive writing life in 2023.

And as always, sending you mad writing mojo…

How to Use Mercury RX in Aquarius in Your Writing Practice

Writing doesn’t always mean perpetually moving forward without pause. We flow and ebb. We wax and wane. As does the creative process.

I always recommend that writers use Mercury Rx as an opportunity to re-visit, re-consider, and re-vise their work rather than forging ahead with new projects or new pages on a current project. (Of course, I would never suggest that you not write if the impulse is strong, but if you don’t have a pressing deadline and the work will not be harmed by a step-back, Mercury RX can give a 3- to 4-week window of time to breathe and re-set.) I think of Mercury RX pauses a times to tend to what’s already there.

This RX is in Aquarius until February 20, so when we understand how this energy impacts us, we can consider more specific ways to use this planetary influence and continue to honor our writing practices.

According to The Mercury Retrograde Book by Yasmin Boland and Kim Farnell, during a Mercury RX in Aquarius, “You feel creative and ideas flow thick and fast.” They also say, “your final decisions should wait.”

This Rx, then, is ideal for brain dumping. This is not a time to think about writing polished prose, starting a new project, or launching into the void with a current project if you’re uncertain about certain aspects of it.

Allow yourself to pour the thoughts and ideas in your head onto the page. Treat the brain dump like a long free-write. Write stream of consciousness if that feels right. Be as detached as possible to the words’ purposes right now. The goal is to do a purge and get it all out so that you can begin to sort through it all when Mercury goes direct again on February 20.

This is also a good time to re-consider all things writing. Here are some questions to ask ourselves during a Mercury Rx in Aquarius.

  1. If you’re in a writing group, is it meeting your needs?
    If not, is the group structured in a way to allow for adjustments? If not, do you need to leave the group and find a new one or simply go off on your own for a while?
  2. Are you ready for technical malfunctions?
    Aquarius is all about tech, so be aware that your laptop and other devices may (almost definitely WILL) experience snags and upsets. Back up all your important work, even if you have it on the Cloud. And be prepared to either let the writing sit until the problem is solved or write by hand (never a bad solution, as science has shown that writing by hand has all sorts of positive benefits for us).
  3. Do you have in-progress work or a “waiting-to-be-started” file?
    Almost all writers have a backlog of ideas either in their heads or in a digital or paper file somewhere—stories, situations, and people that have bubbled up at random times felt to hold enough significance to warrant deeper consideration. Many of these are in different stages of completion. Some are merely random ideas accompanied by vague notes. If you find that something on your list no longer resonates, remove it. If something sparks you further, keep it, move it up the list, spend some time thinking about how to expand it and bring it to life when Mercury goes direct again on February>
  4. Are you prepared to wait to take praise and/or criticism to heart?
    Boland and Farnell also recommend avoiding confirmation bias during this time. What that might look like in your writing practice is a perceived, overblown sense of the worth or lack of worth of a project, which can arise from our own belief systems and thought patterns and be reinforced by comments from others who provide feedback on our work. If you have a reader or readers and someone raves about your newest pages, take it in stride, and wait until Mercury is direct again. Likewise, if someone harshly critiques your work during this time or finds only room for improvement, avoid the temptation to deem yourself a a bad writer. It could be that the person providing feedback has been afflicted with some kind of communication disruption themselves (thanks to the Mercury RX). Best to set those pages aside and be willing to revisit after February 20 with your own objective eye. Decide then for yourself if the pages truly are superb or if they do, in fact, need some kind of attention.

As for me, I’m using this time to print out the draft of my novel, which I completed during NaNoWriMo last November (and have been tinkering with since), along with ALL the random notes I’ve jotted down and typed up. (There are SO MANY!) I’ll be organizing these pages and creating an action plan to begin my revision process. I can’t wait!

I hope you’re navigating this Mercury RX without too many bumps or bruises. I’d love to hear how you’re using it to manage and enhance your own writing practice. Please leave me a comment below and let me know.

Sending you mad writing mojo…

Happy writing!