Zen and the journey to becoming a published author

“The road winds on and on—we stop for rests and lunch, exchange small talk, and settle down to the long ride. The beginning fatigue of afternoon balances the excitement of the first day and we move steadily, not fast, not slow.” Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

Writing a book can be a long ride. Gurus may tell you that you can write a book in a weekend, 30 or even 90 days. Yes you can, if that is all you do. However…

‘We stop for rests’

Better books in my (very humble, of course) opinion are those where the writer rests and reflects. Where they review and consider on what they have written. In reflection and being a witness to your work comes clarity.

‘The beginning fatigue of afternoon balances the excitement of the first day and we move steadily, not fast, not slow’

At the beginning of the journey with your book, it is exciting and you will experience fatigue, and if you are anything like me ‘dead head’. Writing a book is a science, an art and a process and it needs to be balanced. When I work with my clients it is at a steady pace and in a way that suits their learning style. Even those that want to put their foot on the pedal and get their knee down, I find a way to make it happen, so that all of our tanks do not run dry. This gets great results. Not fast and not slow. Just right.

How can you embrace Zen?

“Zen” is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character “chan,” which is in turn the Chinese translation from the Indian Sanskrit term “dhyana,” which means meditation.

Zen means meditation. Meditation where one just sits with no goals or expectations. It is about tuning into you and facing who you are and allowing what you know and are to ‘just be’. For some meditation does not come naturally, so how else can you reflect?

  1. Walk – the fresh air will invigorate you, whilst enabling clarity of thought to come. I walk every day and these are amongst some of my deepest thoughtful moments
  2. Take a sumptuous bath, light some candles, dim the lights and just lay there staring into the flickering flame
  3. Sit and look at your favourite landscape. Look at the sea or the trees and just notice what you notice
  4. Put your writing away for at least seven days and just let it be. When you come back you can read it with new eyes. Read  somewhere you feel comfortable and there is no pressure to do anything other than read (in my case no dogs licking my keyboard…. thank you Marley, I will feed you in just a tick)
  5. Sleep on your work. Literally put it under your pillow and sleep on it

In the connectedness of mind, body and spirit, your journey to becoming  a published author will be zentastic and most zenjoyable.

References http://www.taoism.net/articles/what_zen.htm

4 Replies to “Zen and the journey to becoming a published author”

  1. Hi Jacqui – Loved the post . Made me feel calm just reading it. These remind me of the sharpening the axe activities advocated by Stephen Covey. The fast pace of western living often makes us forget to take time out to really nourish and feed our souls. Creativity comes from within so why we think we can be creative without being still and connected on the inside is a wonder. Thanks for sharing the peace. Big Hugs :~D

  2. I’m in the process of writing 2 books and a couple of guides. Given that I’m fitting this in with lots of other things (in common with most of us I imagine), my mission now is to finish 1 of them. Thank you for the tips 🙂

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