Top 10 Tips for Writing a Bestselling Yoga Book
Unleash Your Inner Author: Transforming Your Yoga Passion into Published Words - By Jilly Shipway
Reading time: 4 minutes
Have you got a secret ambition to write a yoga book? Is there a yoga book that you’d love to read which hasn’t yet been written? And perhaps you have a sneaking suspicion that only you could write that book. I’m Jilly Shipway, yoga teacher and author of three bestselling yoga books. In this article I’ll share with you my top tips for kickstarting your writing practice and helping you to realise your dream of becoming a published yoga author.
- Establish a daily meditative writing practice that is just for you. Commit to writing each day and stick to it. Set your timer and write. Keep your pen on the paper and keep writing. Observe the waves of thoughts and feelings that arise and get them down on paper. Don’t worry about handwriting, spelling, or grammar etc. Do this every day and you will never be short of inspiration.
- Get your walking shoes on! Since ancient times writers have known that walking is a superpower that boosts their creativity. Before I write anything I always do a walking meditation to get my ideas flowing. And it’s also a great way of keeping fit whilst you write your bestseller.
- Practice yoga every day. If you’ve got writer’s block practicing yoga will get your creative energy flowing again. I often have ‘lightbulb’ moments when I’m on my yoga mat. During yoga practice we enter deeply relaxed states giving us access to our subconscious mind, where we find a deep source of wisdom to empower our writing.
- Find your voice. Be clear about what you want to say and say it! Forget about writing a yoga bestseller and simply write about what interests you. Follow your curiosity. Write with passion. I usually write to solve a puzzle. My ‘Yoga Through the Year’ book was written because I was puzzled by the apparent absence of women from the history of yoga.
- Make your writing a priority. Be prepared to fiercely defend your writing time. Some people will think you are wasting your time and that you could be doing something more useful. Don’t waste precious time justifying yourself to these people, save that energy for your writing!
- Don’t put your Inner Editor in charge too early on in a project. At the start, be playful and allow yourself to make mistakes. Too much self-criticism at the onset can be inhibiting. At this early stage let your editor take a backseat. Later, when you are perfecting your finished piece of writing your editor will be indispensable.
- Write when you feel good and write when you feel bad. Life can be tough, but the great thing about being a writer is that we can use life’s challenges as fuel for our writing. Let dissatisfaction with the way things are motivate you to write. Be the change you want to see.
- Embrace chaos. The early stages of any creative project are always chaotic. Your house may be more untidy than usual- ignore cobwebs and dust, and just get on with your writing.
- Acquire writing skills. It’s fine to be experimental in your writing, but you’ll be a better communicator if you’ve taken the time to learn your craft. I’d been working for a few years on my first book, ‘Yoga Through the Year’, when it struck me that I didn’t know how to write! Yes, I could string words together on paper and had no shortage of ideas, but to convey my ideas more effectively, I needed to learn writing skills and master my craft. It was a humbling moment, and it slowed me down considerably as I set myself the task of completing an online writing course. This paid off, as subsequently I started getting articles published in yoga magazines, and it eventually led to my first book being accepted for publication!
- Create magic by committing to a writing project. Initially it’s fine to try your hand at lots of things. However, eventually you do have to commit to a specific writing project and see it through to completion. Unexpected opportunities will arise once you’ve set your intention (and done the hard work of writing) and then you’ll be a step closer to realising your dream of becoming a published yoga author.
If you want to deepen your experience of writing as a meditative practice and acquire the skills that lead you to becoming a published writer, then check out my online ‘Becoming a Yoga Writer’ course:
Even if you don’t want to write a yoga book, I’d urge you to take up writing as a meditative practice. It’s the perfect way to relieve stress and to promote good health.