If there’s one thing I know about nonfiction writers, it’s this: They allow spirit to play a part in their writing. They may not openly talk about spirituality, transformation, religion, or even feeling “called,” but most of them do, indeed, feel a strong sense of soul purpose. When they write, they do so from a place of service and connection to something bigger than themselves.
To some, nonfiction writing seems like dry reporting of knowledge, information, and experience. After all, nonfiction writers often share how-to information and rely on their expertise, frameworks, or studies when writing books. But some nonfiction authors also offer personal growth or spiritual tips and strategies as well as their own stories of transformation.
No matter the type of book, article or blog post produced, I have found that nonfiction writers write from a holy place. They tend to feel called…almost pushed…by spirit to put something on paper that has the potential of making a positive and meaningful difference in the world.
Called to Write
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. However, in high school, I began to notice a sense of calling—a feeling that I could use my writing to do good in the world.
When my mother discouraged me from becoming a novelist, I looked for a different outlet for my writing gift. I took a journalism course and realized that most magazines articles were self-help oriented—at least the magazines I liked at the time, like Self. Today, I look at O Magazine, Woman’s Day, Success Magazine,, and any publication focused on yoga or better living or meant for a mass audience, and I still feel the same way. These forms of nonfiction are about providing readers with information that will help them transform in some way.
In my late 30s, I edited several books with a spiritual flavor, like Enlightened Leadership, Radical Forgiveness, and Faithpreneur. As I helped other writers produce books born out their own sense of calling and soul purpose, my sense of calling got stronger. I wanted to write books based on spiritual, metaphysical, and personal growth principles. I wanted to create transformation in my readers and in the world. I wanted to author change.
Every book I’ve written has, to some extent, allowed me to reach out from a place of service, soul purpose, and Higher Self to those I felt I could help—even my books on blogging and publishing. And the same is true of the other nonfiction writers I meet and with whom I have the honor to work.
Let Spirit Play
I think some of my best work has come from times when I allowed spirit to play with me during the writing process. In fact, when I read some of my early works, I sometimes wonder at the content. Did I really write that? Even some of my later books, I think, Where did that idea come from?
I wouldn’t claim to have channeled a manuscript, but when I sat down to write, I’m sure I had a little help. And I think that’s a key to great transformational books—the author opens himself to universal energies—call it God, Creator, or Higher Self—and allows himself to download information that might not otherwise have been available.
At the least, the writers approach their work with a sense of sacredness and service. They sense that their mission in this lifetime revolves around writing and, in the process, making a difference. And, for the majority of them, their alignment with some form of spirituality pushes them to write and publish.
And their connection with spirit helps them write. It forms the message they want to share and inspires the words that end up on paper.
How to Invoke Spirit into Your Written Work
I often talk about creating a sacred space in which to write. Doing so makes the act of writing sacred. Additionally, if you write consistently in that space, you create a vortex of spiritual and creative energy that will support your work in surprising ways.
For this reason, my first tip for allowing spirit to play a part in your nonfiction writing is to create a sacred writing space. You’ll be amazed at the difference this one action can make. You’ll find it much easier to tap into spirit as you write when your space is conducive to a spiritual energy.
Here are a few more suggestions for mini rituals that can help you experience a greater sense of spirit at play with you as you write.
- Take five minutes to meditate and pray prior to writing. This opens a spiritual channel where you can speak to God and receive messages from the Creator as well.
- Light a candle before you write. Candles are associated with spirituality. It serves as a reminder that the work you do is, indeed, spiritual in nature.
- Set an intention for your writing period. (Ex. * I intend to allow spirit to join me as I write today and for my writing to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of my readers.*
- Take a 15 to 30-minute walk before writing. Make this a walking meditation. Ask spirit to provide you with information necessary for your book. Then stay open to receiving those messages.
- Remind yourself that writing is sacred work. If you approach your writing as sacred, you will produce sacred work.
If you enter a writing period without a sense of calling, with a sense of being “off purpose” or without a feeling of alignment with spirit, try the five tips mentioned above. They will help you feel more connected.
However, don’t wait for spirit to call you to your writing. Take action instead.
The Jewish mystics or Kabbalists say “action is where the action is.” Indeed, it’s true. So take action. Start writing.
Send out a prayer for spirit to come play with you, and then start writing. Make this an affirmation of action…and invocation for spirit to join you at your desk.
Continue writing, and eventually, you’ll find the words flowing. You’ll find yourself in awe of the sentences and paragraphs forming on the screen. And you’ll know that you’ve not only invited spirit to join you, but the invitation was accepted.
Send that invitation out daily, and be open. Allow. You’ll find yourself feeling called, pushed, and inspired. And your nonfiction writing will be all the better for it, which means it will have a positive and meaningful impact on your readers.
As a nonfiction writer, do you have a sense of calling? Tell me about it in a comment. (And, if you found this post usefule, please share it with other nonfiction writers.)
Photo courtesy of Konstantin Kirillov|123RF.com
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