Ways to Make Your Writing Career More Mindful

I’m doing what I do every year before Bootcamp … putting off packing (even though I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow) … and, instead, poring over all the details of what this year will bring. From the speakers I can’t wait to meet for the first time to my annual rendezvous at Ben & Jerry’s with my long-time circle of treasured copywriting friends …

 … It’s gonna be a bang-up, head-spinning, jaw-dropping, mind-opening good time!

Buuuut, even though I’m super-excited, I recognize it’s still smart to head out with a plan. So, I want to spend more time working on my new “redefine freedom” plan.

Yesterday, I asked you to think about what freedom really means to you. Because, beyond the money freelance writing can earn you, it’s freedom that holds the most value.

For me, freedom has a lot to do with being mindful.

Because, let’s face it – life can get pretty hectic … am I right?

We live in a 24-hour culture driven by alerts and updates. News broadcasts around the clock. Computers, phones, and tablets pelt us with a steady diet of ever-changing information.

Even if you can break free from technology, modern life sure is regimented. Everyday life is filled with traffic rules and food pyramids and social etiquette and keeping up with the Joneses and …

I could go on. But the point is, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.

I’m just as guilty as anybody else. I’ve had more than one day in the past few months where I appear to be present with my kids, asking how their day went …

 … But, what I’m really thinking about is my approaching deadline, and whether I can fit in a sales letter over the weekend, and how to get on top of my overflowing inbox, and whether my keyboard is as ergonomically correct as the box says it is.

Ever been there? Ever feel a little crazed by all the external noise in life?

That’s where being mindful comes into play.

Being mindful is about being fully conscious or aware of something. It’s about being present in the moment.

Here’s how you can apply it to your writing career:

  1. Embrace your vulnerability. If you’re coming to Bootcamp tomorrow and you don’t feel “ready” – that’s okay! (Hardly any of us do, you know.) Instead, trust the speakers and the AWAI staff to guide you in the right direction.

    If you won’t be at Bootcamp, trust that you know enough to move forward today, even if it’s just a tiny step. Trust that you have access to enough resources to get your questions answered as you get your writing career off the ground. And then, put Bootcamp on your “to-do” list for next year.

  2. Nurture connections. I don’t know where I’d be in my freelancing career if I hadn’t made friends with other writers. They’ve been there through the ups and downs, and I’ve leaned on them for support through the years.

    I met most of my writing connections at Bootcamp. So, if you’ll be in Delray Beach this week, introduce yourself to others with intention. Share your hopes and goals with others, and listen to their aspirations in return. That’s how lasting connections are made.

    But, you don’t have to be at Bootcamp to make lasting connections. The AWAI Members Forum and Facebook pages are great ways to meet other writers. So are local writing groups.

  3. Accept and appreciate that things come and go. This might be the month you land your dream client. It might even happen at Bootcamp. Or, it might come out of a spec assignment you get through the Bootcamp Home-Study Program.

    No matter how it happens, enjoy the moment. Revel in it. Be grateful for the experience, even after it’s over. And then, open yourself up for the next big break in your career.

Use these mindfulness guidelines as you shape and build your freedom-filled writer’s life. Do you have any mindful practices you already apply to your writing goals? Please share them here.

And then tomorrow, I’ll be back, reporting live from Delray Beach and sharing the best takeaways from the speakers at this year’s big event.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: October 14, 2014

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