The Art of Mindful Writing; The Business of Publishing
Fear of rejections paralyses even talented and skillful writers. The Mindful Writers keep the business of publishing temporarily at bay. They complete the first draft, revise it several times and get it edited. When the draft is transformed into the final manuscript, only then does their attention shift to publishing the finished work.
J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), one of the most important American writers has said, “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”
Publishing can become a major obstacle on writers’ path and clog the creative flow. It is not so much “a terrible invasion of writer’s privacy.” But it contaminates writer’s passion, loosens resolve and defocuses mind. Indeed, there is “marvelous peace” in not letting the thought of publishing knock at the back of the mind when it should be concentrating on writing.
The Mindful Writers believe when a project is ready, the right agent or publisher will appear. The Mindful Writers write for the sake of writing.
In Journaling and Meditation the Mindful Writers internalize the thought that they write for themselves and experience silence within. They do not address their journal to anyone outside them selves. No agenda. No hesitation. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing goes unrevealed. All fears, doubts and negativity that drain their energy are dumped on the paper. Clarity seeps in and an unbound flow of creative energy springs from the depths of the consciousness to express the content in their voice. Original ideas and insights emerge which can be nurtured and deepened.
Meditation teaches to turn silence itself into the most eloquent work of art, to slow down and to pay meticulous attention to details. It also teaches how much to let go and how much to absorb.
With this post I introduce, Julie Long, the first Mindful Writer whose short piece about Writing Meditation Method and the Mindful Writers Group is posted here under “Writing & Meditation” Page. She echoes the significance of focusing on writing while a work is in progress. Julie writes, “One thing I learned in the Mindful Writers Group is to only focus on writing, not the business of publishing. The business of publishing, marketing and promoting interferes with my writing. For the time being, I need to empty my vessel out of the noise of the business.”
Julie Long was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. The town had a bandstand in the middle of the square. Later, when she lived for several years in southern California, she never found the center of the town. Today she feels at home on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and an English bulldog.
Julie has written award-winning advertisements. She has ghostwritten a business book on selling. She co-authored the humor gift book BABY: An Owner’s Manual (Broadway Books), the business parable Fat, Dumb and Lazy and the eater’s manifesto A Mouthful of Truth. Her stories have been published in various Chicken Soup for the Soul titles and her humor essays have appeared in Pittsburgh newspapers.
Julie agrees with C. Day Lewis who said, “We do not write to be understood. We write in order to understand.” This seeking is what has pulled her into novel writing, where she grapples with the dichotomies she witnesses in her world and in her self. Whether it’s Transcendental Meditation competing with Midwestern values in her novels (awaiting representation) Maharishiville or “Big Ag” versus small organics on a family’s farm in The Growing Season. Through humor and empathy, she finds common ground and a good story.
Julie was co-coordinator of the Pennwriters 2011 Conference, and is a charter member of Chapter CH of the P.E.O. Sisterhood in Allison Park, Pennsylvania. Visit Julie’s website: www.julielongwrites.com