When you want to become a published nonfiction writer, it’s easy to end up picking all your writing project topics by what you think will “sell.” Writing for the market, as they say, does yield results, but it also can cause you to lose enthusiasm for your work. The writing becomes about business rather than art or self-expression.
The best pieces of writing come from a place of passion, purpose, inspiration, and alignment with your authentic self. When we write from a place of “should” or “supposed to,” our work can become forced, staled, and dispassionate. To avoid that pitfall, give yourself a chance to tap into what you feel called to write.
Don’t stop there, though. Take that strategy a step further and develop a spiritual approach to your writing. Of course, you won’t always be able to do this. To get your work published, it still needs to be marketable. Yet, you can have both—a writing project that comes out of your spiritual connection and that meets the needs of your readers or a publication’s or publisher’s audience.
Your Spirit, Higher Self, or Divine guidance can lead you to some pretty awesome ideas for essays, blog posts, articles, and books. And these can be marketable as well—but let’s not worry about that right now. Let’s just get you connected with Spirit so you can engage in a more spiritual approach to your writing and revitalize your work.
February Nonfiction Writer’s Challenge
To complete this month’s nonfiction writer’s challenge, take a spiritual approach to your writing for the next 30 days.
Here are eight steps to help you meet the challenge.
Come from a place of trust. Stop worrying about the marketability of your ideas. Have faith that each will be marketable. (You can evaluate them later as the last step of the challenge.)
In the meantime, focus on tapping into ideas that come from your connection with Source or your Higher Self. The following steps will help you do that. And…trust that the ideas will come!
Take time to get quiet and listen to your soul or to guidance. Allow yourself to let go of the mental chatter about finding ideas that sell, negative thoughts about your ability to find publishers for your work, or fears of any type related to your writing or publishing endeavors.
Place a journal and pen or a computer on your lap.
Then close your eyes, and take three very deep diaphragmatic breaths. This allows your mind to become a little quieter.
Continue to breathe deeply. Focus on your breathing—nothing else. After a minute or two, breathe normally but continue to focus on each breath–in, out, in, out.
Let thoughts go as they come up. When you find yourself focused on a thought, just return to your breathing.
3. Set an Intention.
Then, set an intention for your period of meditation. For example, you might say (in your mind): It is my intention to tap into writing ideas that come from Spirit.
If you find setting an intention at this point disturbed your sense of peace, do this step second rather than third. Set and write down an intention before you begin meditating.
4. Ask for guidance.
Next, ask for guidance on what to write. You can say a little prayer, such as: I ask Spirit/Source/God/Guides (whatever you feel inclined to say based on your spiritual beliefs) to guide my writing today. Please assist me in finding a topic for my work that serves my highest good and that of my readers.
This may seem silly, but…if you don’t ask, you may not receive! So ask.
5. Wait patiently.
Now, sit quietly and wait. And wait some more. You must be patient, especially when you first begin this exercise.
Don’t question what comes to you. Just accept it. If you want, write it down or type it into your computer (with your eyes still closed).
And be open to how the message arrives. It could be a feeling, a word, a full-blown idea, a smell, or something you hear. Allow whatever comes into your consciousness to expand into an idea.
Or ask for more guidance! For instance, you might say: I am aware of the crow screeching outside my window. Is this a message or me? Is the crow a symbol? What else do I need to know about the crow? Or am I just distracted by the crow? Then wait for an answer. It will come.
6. Ask again.
If you are still unsure that your meditation and request for guidance have produced an idea, ask another question. You could ask: Are there any other ideas I should become aware of or any additional information I need about the idea I’ve received already?
Pay attention, and make a note of what you see in your mind’s eye, hear, feel, or smell.
Last, begin writing. If you have your computer on your lap, you can write with your eyes closed. (I prefer this method over opening my eyes and writing by hand.) Write for as long as you can or is necessary.
When you feel as if you can continue writing from this connected place, open your eyes.
If possible, try to complete as much of the written piece as you can. Of course, you won’t finish a full-length book during one writing period, but you might finish a blog post, essay, article, or even a short ebook.
If the idea was for a book, you can repeat this process the next time you want to write. Ask guidance: Please tell or show me the topic to cover next in my book—one that is in my highest good and the highest good of my readers for me to write about.
8. Evaluate your idea or work.
When you are done writing, you can evaluate the marketability of your idea and piece of work. Research publications that might be interested in the topic. Consider if your blog readers might find it useful. Or do a bit of competitive analysis on books on the same or a similar subject.
You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that you were gifted an idea that feeds your soul and your bank account! It might, indeed, be something you could sell to a publisher.
And if it isn’t something you can sell, maybe you can use it on your blog or in a self-published work—a passion ebook project, for example.
You can take your idea to your desk before writing and start the evaluation process if you prefer. By doing so, however, you run the risk of negating the idea before you get to pursue it wholeheartedly.
A Spiritual Approach to Writing You Can Rinse and Repeat
You can take this challenge daily or just when you feel mired down in the business of writing. I suggest trying this spiritual approach to your writing for at least a week, if not an entire month.
Whenever you lose enthusiasm or passion for your work, go through the first seven steps of this challenge. If you really feel stuck, don’t worry about the final step until you’re feeling excited about and inspired by your writing project.
You can start and stop the challenge. Rinse and repeat whenever you feel the need to find that spiritual connection to your writing.
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