Mindful Writers’ First Draft
THE FIRST ROUGH DRAFT
One of the two goals of the Mindful Writers (MW) is to complete the first rough draft of a book in nine months. The draft is rough but it is the seed of the final manuscript that emerges after one or two revisions. Without this draft no book would sprout and grow.
At the beginning stage writers’ intuitive energy is at its peak. And by its very nature this energy pours out positive as well as negative material. Bad stuff pushes down the good stuff. Personal problems and anxieties surface as do familial and social troubles. Fear of expressing ideas openly and freely takes the shape of knots and obstacles.
The nine months are long and filled with pitfalls. But the three tools of the Writing Meditation Method (WMM): Meditation, Free Writing and the Writing of the draft keeps the MW grounded and productive. It helps them let go of any obstacles on the way. Meditation calms down the noise and centers them. They are able to channelize raw intuitive energy into a smooth flow. Furthermore, Free Writing catches the remaining interfering stuff and pins it down. Their mind is cleared and heart opened to receive whatever relevant material the universe has to offer. Their imagination is stirred as they get in touch with their authentic Self. Then begins the time to write the draft. Hours of focused work.
What keeps the MW going are their enthusiasm, deep desire to write and the pleasure that the process conjures up when the WM session ends. Passion breathes life into their work. Desire and determination enables them to continue it week by week. They watch their sentences accumulate and draft grow.
Each draft is a mystery, like a newborn baby. The mother does not know how her womb-born is going to be like. Similarly, writers do not know how their mind-born is going to read like until they have completed one hundred thousand or so words and reached the climax. Only then an ending is revealed.
To triumphantly complete the first rough draft is an act of faith. WMM helps MW on their nine month journey. At the end when they hold their work in hand they feel amply rewarded. It is the flower of the work they have done during the year. (Fruit is yet to come in the form of a published book.) They realize that their desire, determination, discipline and intuitive energy have made their dream a reality.
Once the draft is written, it can be remade as many times as MW want. Revised. Rewritten. Reshaped. After one or two methodical, thorough and critical revisions the manuscript is ready for the eyes of a professional writer or editor who they trust.
MW keep their first draft to themselves until it is ready for display. They know no one, no one, no one is as interested in their work as they themselves are. If some of them need encouragement and praise to keep going, they must either give it to themselves or get it from another MW.
Realize that the only thing in writers’ control is their writing-always pleasurable, gratifying and worthy enough to bring MW back for rewrites and revisions. They recognize that the practice of Body, Heart and Mind meditations combined with free writing focuses, motivates and leads them forward until their first draft is complete. They are left with something they can begin revising with pleasure.