Writing Articles in the Present

Here’s a test I’d like you to try today sometime when you’re writing your next set of articles:

Allow and demand of yourself to be fully present in the moment.

This means rejecting thinking that doesn’t support your chosen writing objective, including rejecting non-article related mental chatter (your kids soccer game, your workout tonight, your relationships with others, your toys, etc). Your goal is to zero in on the task in front of you. Enter the zone. Deny all incoming calls. Don’t check your email. Move to a place and time you can write without being disturbed.

When you become fully present on the article writing task in front of you, you are able to offer your whole self to the matter. How often have you been writing an article, got on a great run where you were in flow, and then you become distracted, surf’d eBay, check’d email and all of a sudden, your article that was once a masterpiece is now a flooded mess of words.

As a bonus, when you become invigorated and infused with the energy that comes from requiring yourself to be fully present when writing articles, you’ll find that your life and your articles have even more meaning. When you reach this state, stop briefly to observe it and how you feel so that you can summon this mental state more easily in the future.

To not become fully present when writing articles is to short-change your reader and yourself… it’s like not honoring the greatness within you that is begging to be written. :-)

This is a mental time zone. There are only three: past, PRESENT, future. It’s been said that most folks only spend 1% of their life in the present. Could you imagine what kind of article production along with the quality depth that your mind can produce when you become fully present when writing articles?

Question: How do you personally become fully present when writing articles? Any tips to share?

37 Comments »


1
Phillip Davis writes:

Great advice Chris. My best articles have come during times when I was totally focused on giving out what was needed at the time with little thought of anything else… much like you describe. And a great book to help transform present minded writing into more present minded living, is Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.”

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:13 AM

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2

Hi Chris,

Like anyone, I get distracted by all the amusements, what with emails flying in and sudden urges to shop Amazon.

However, my clients deserve my full attention and personal best on their articles and other projects. So, I do what you mention above, plus I avoid using IM at all costs – EVER! IM serves no purpose other than to be confusing.

In fact, once I manage to block everything out, I get pretty testy when someone or something tries to pull me away from whatever I’m intensely concentrating on.

It’s pretty funny – you just hit on a topic (Living in the Moment) that I wrote about extensively just two days ago.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:15 AM

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3

I call a friend on the phone and talk with them about the article I’m writing. This way it stays conversational as well as informative.

If no one is available, I pretend.

Love that imagination!

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:18 AM

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4
Carine writes:

I always give full attention to my work. It not only requires it, but deserves the moments.
No TV, no music, I do not answer the phone. It’s just me and the computer. Even the pets know that they are not to crawl into my lap!
If you’re going to write and have it make sense, you must devote yourself to the work it requires.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:29 AM

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5
Maya Frost writes:

Oh, Chris, I love seeing this topic addressed here!

Yes, being present is the key in all things. Whether you’re working, eating, playing with your kids or simply relaxing, the ability to pay attention to what matters most is THE power skill.

My company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, offers simple, secular, eyes-wide-open techniques for those looking for ways to practice being present WITHOUT sitting in meditation.

I invite you to drop by my website and check out the free articles, tips, blog, ezine, library, movie and other resources to help you get calm, clear and creative wherever you are!

http://www.real-worldmindfulness.com

Thanks, Chris. Have fun playing with being present! ;-)

Warmly,
Maya

Maya Frost
Real-World Mindfulness Training

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:34 AM

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6
Heather Bayer writes:

When I am writing an article that answers a commonly asked question about vacation rentals, I imagine myself in the shoes of the questioner. That allows me to explore the perspective of their world and write the article that responds to that.

You are so right – being in the moment gets me on the same wavelength as my potential readers.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:41 AM

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7
Craig Burton writes:

I think it is important to create a room that inspires your creativity and helps you get into the writing zone. Then put a “do not disturb!” – sign on the door or get a lock. Remove all possible distractors like phones, and maybe even the internet if you are not researching.
A great book for getting into the flow of writing and other artisitc pursuits is called “The artists way” by Julia Cameron

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:48 AM

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8
Glenn Ebersole writes:

Top 5 Tips for being fully present when writing articles, from Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach.

1. When I write articles to be posted on eznearticles.com it is my #1 priority task for the time chosen to write the article.

2. I block out segments of time when writing and do not
permit or enable any interruptions while I am writing.

3. I mentally prepare myself to be in the writing mode with that single focus on writing the article.

4. I also do a “mental rehearsal” for the article preparation and actually rehearse writing the article in my mind before I actually start writing.

5. I envision the final product and that keeps me focused on the article I am writing.

Chris, I trust these comments will be helpful and are what you are looking for as a response.

Best regards,

Glenn Ebersole
Your trategic Thinking Business Coach
http://www.businesscoach4u.com
Author of monthly newsletter: “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach”

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:01 AM

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9
Greg Nicholls writes:

Hey Chris, there is a great number of books on this topic, I love “The Science Of Getting Rich”, as well as “The Power of Now”.

There truly are not many people that live and work in the present moment, as they allow themselves to be caught up in the past, or worry about the future.

If we allow ourselves to live out the present with great energy, attention and focus; then in these present moments, we will create an incredible past and we will have nothing to worry about in the future.

In Your Service,

Greg Nicholls
http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Greg_Nicholls

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:16 AM

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10

Have to admit that myself allowing the mental ‘bubbles’ to distract me. Chris article not only addresses article writing alone, I think in whatever we do, be it with our family or friends, we ought to give the 100% focus.

No wonder ‘present’ is also called a ‘gift’.

Thanks Chis, I learn a lot from you.

Cheers.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:22 AM

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11
Michael Cortes writes:

It’s certainly true that some out there are harshly judgmental of today’s rushed lifestyle. They will point to the slower paced times of their youth and hold it up as an example of taking time out for the “present” that allows us to be less stressed. Have you discovered that the same is true, when you put yourself in the writing zone?

If you could put yourself in my mind, you would probably be afraid. I compare it to rush hour traffic that been filmed in time-lapse. The thoughts rush back and forth in my mind so quickly that it is at times tiresome. When I was painting, I found that I could not truly imagine the art if I could not push all else from my mind. Picture the image in my head, allowed me take that image and put it on canvas. You have heard the mantra “if you picture you goal, you can achieve it”. Well, as long as I could picture the end result, I could tranalate it to paint on a canvas.

But what I did not imagine, was the soothing therapeutic effect of painting. The ability to push all thoughts out of my head and have uncluttered clarity, was for me a few hours of peace and tranquility. A few hours of mind being taken out of the rush hour and just sitting in a country field, enjoying the sunshine.

I don’t paint now, and I’m still looking for that replacement. But when you think about clearing your mind and focusing on your writing… Remember, it’s not just good for your readers, it can be very good for you.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:22 AM

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12
Chinmay Chakravarty writes:

It’s a tremendous topic, thanks Sir Chris. I sort of have an inferiority complex to try commenting on it. But I cannot help it!

I follow a method from which I always benefit. I’m fully present and focussed when I wrtie. rewrite, phrase, rephrase an article in the writing desk of my inner world till it’s ready. This method can be practised anytime while I pretend taking a nap or traveling or even sitting with noisy people. There are no major problems. My wife, as always, accuses me of being absent minded and colleagues in my office gives me generous advice not to waste my time brooding and thinking like that. But the point is that nobody would possibly know what I’m producing mentally. So, when I sit on my computer I just put down my thoughts already finalised in my imaginary writing desk and at such times I can tolerate or even enjoy all kinds of disturbances and interruptions.

I think, concentration of the mind is the key. So, meditaion can be a big help as it disciplines the mind. A disciplined mind can even make the dreams productive and I get a lot of inputs from my dreams.

Insights into this particular method would definitely help me.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:25 AM

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13

I’m enjoying this topic so much I’ve blasted you on my blog this morning. And by the way, Phil Davis really DOES write killer articles…

Thanks for the enlightening discussion!

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 11:32 AM

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14

My process of writing begins with a knowing that there is something to be shared – it is a specific feeling of connection and flow that says NOW is the time to write! Before my hands touch the keyboard, I connect with my heart – centering in the moment and awareness of the message.
This heart-centering focus is what allows me to be present and ‘hear’ the words with my heart before they hit the page.

I appreciate your topic and whole-heartedly agree!
Thank you for this contribution to Presence.

all the best,
Janet

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 12:46 PM

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15
Florence Givens writes:

Thanks for the enlightenent. “Writing Articles in the Present,” to me is like going out a closed door. Instead of opening it, stop and stand face to face with the door. That way your mind is not going anywhere, neither are you. Then pull up a chair and write well. For another thought when writing, often, the computer keys are good, yet a ready pen with paper are better.
(c) 2007 By Florence Rosie Givens

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 1:00 PM

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16
Jim Kesel writes:

I think you have hit the nail on the head. It is a real struggle for me personally stay on focus and task when writing. I have a set routine that allows me to focus on the subject I am writing about. I usually conduct a physical workout for at least an hour prior to writing. This clears my mind of much its clutter. This is followed by a review the research and keywords. Once I start writing I keep at it until I am finished. I write in a place that greatly limits distractions. I then put the article aside until the next day before editing.

I only hope that this system continues to serve me well into the future.

Jim

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 2:13 PM

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17
Marc writes:

Whenever I have an engaging conversation with someone, I make a habit of mentally taking note of my subjective state at the time. Later when I sit down to write, I reconstruct the same state of mind. The same energy and enthusiasm of the conversation finds its way into my writing.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 2:30 PM

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18

Chris, it’s fun to see you combining spiritual with marketing.

As of right now it confuses me. I don’t know what to say because I don’t know what is being asked.

I don’t know what is being asked because it’s difficult to understand in itself.

I have a whole book myself, The Tao Of Now, written ten years before Tolle. So I certainly know the subject area and believe I do a much more original job on the Now Philosophy than Tolle does, who is heavily traditional-spiritual. He is clearer than I was in that book in his writing, and some of his articulations are beautiful in themselves.

So just questions I am formulating here as a response to your own.

-Is there a hint that if we practice being truly present we will write special or breakthrough articles? Evidence?

-If I am fully present in the Now will it even be me writing the article?

My experience is that when I am in my I-personality, it is too much I, unless I am also equally present to everything else happening in the now, inner and outer.

My practice has been for years in writing to listen to the ‘voice’ and write that down. This is my best practice for writing from a present Now.

I as I open and allow the voice of the present moment to speak to me. This is always my present moment, even if I have to go over later and edit or correct slightly the writing.

Thus I would say to purify my I from a special agenda of desires, attitudes and purposes is necessary to even being present in the Now.

This is also saying there can be no goals for present moment activity, since these agendas or goals would be taking me out of listening to the ‘voice of the present moment.’

Hope this makes some sense as to combining the Now Perspective with creative activity such as article writing.

Thus I have been able to write whole books on consciousness psychology, some of which have sold reasonably well.

What Tolle lacks in my study of him is practical application of the Now Perspective, except to reduce stress and become enlightened. Enlightenment is not very useful really. Oops! Sorry! Sorry to all the believers in gurus!

But to use the Now Perspective in practical application to life activities, such as in business, is an insight-provoking activity indeed.

And I would ask you, Chris, at some point to also share your own personal response to how you work this issue yourself.

I have shared mine for the moment.

What is your moment? I’m sure it would be interesting. Such a question as yours just does not come out of the blue, or does it?

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 2:38 PM

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19
Edward Weiss writes:

My strategy is simple. I come up with a headline and then free write the entire article. This takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

Afterwards, I edit. But.. I usually don’t have to. :)

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 2:48 PM

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20
Mark Yokoyama writes:

I agree with the post and many of the comments here. Staying focused is the key, removing external distractions and also learning to stay on point. Taking the appropriate breaks is key as well.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM

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21
Ken Little writes:

You article is a must read for all would be successful writers.

Thanks for sharing it Chris.

Success Belongs to You
Ken Little

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM

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22

Hi Chris!

I’m always present when I write whatever. I can continue writing very concentrated in what I’m writing even when there is an earthquake where I am.

So, I never have a distraction problem. As a matter of fact, people that are near me sometimes have problems when I’m too concentrated writing because I don’t pay attention to anything else. They feel they simply don’t exist…

My advice to those that get distracted is that: forget the world, forget everything else. Look at your document as if it was the most important thing of the universe.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:21 PM

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23
Woodrow Meeks writes:

I cannot write if I am not all into the moment. Any distraction throws my mind into limbo. I find I must write at night or early in the morning.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 5:41 PM

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24

Thanks so much for your aticle, Chris. It is a good reminder to us all concentration and focus are of the utmost importance when writing. Good article.
mrslinda

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 7:05 PM

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25

Great article! You have to let the words take over. Just be a conduit for what is flowing through you. Kind of like stream of consciousness writing, when you just write what is flowing through your head. I just tune out the noise & let the words flow. Sometimes I can’t keep up with my thoughts, and that’s when I have to break the thought to catch up.

You can practice just typing what is flowing through your thoughts, then, put that with a subject you know about, and you have the makings of a good article.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 8:15 PM

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26
Kun Song writes:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for such a great article, I share the same sentiments too. The best tool any writer can have is the ability to maintain the focus. Attention is a scarcity in this age.

Personally, I find that exercise helps me to focus better. Since my problem is a tendancy to space out during writing, adrenaline is by far the best way to help me concentrate.

And when I realised that my best working environment is where I can see other people at work, so I write all my articles at the local library.
An environment conducive to creativity is also very important.

In case you’re wondering, the library has an in-built garden. Without a doubt, it is the best place for work to be done. ^^

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 9:30 PM

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27
Diane Dutton writes:

Well Chris I write what is meaningful, therefore I can’t write at just anytime. I learned from a focused author, Tom Bird, that writing comes from within, not logic, just passion.

So, write when the inspiration tells you to write.

Sometimes I can be driving in my convertible in Las Vegas where I live and my mind will kick into gear. That’s when the recorder is great. Speak the inspired thought and then transfer to paper when I get home.

Oh, by the way, the best stuff is handwritten on a blank page, no lines. your creative flow is at its best!

Diane Dutton, author “A Woman’s Ladder to Success”

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 9:38 PM

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28

Kun Song,

I t agree! If I didn’t include 1-2 hours of fitness almost every single day… I’d have a hard time also.

No matter what others say, there is always a way to fit fitness in before or after work hours, over lunch hour, or on the weekends.

All,

I was in flow when I wrote this blog entry earlier today. In fact, it was only suppose to be a blog entry for 700 members of the blog notification email list & rss feed — but then I realized that it was good enough for the 26k members of the EzineArticles Newsletter… its purpose changed.

Strephon,

I came in to work this morning not knowing what I was going to write about. Usually I have a huge inventory of topics & ideas in my head to choose from, but which direction I execute in – is often variable.

I trust in myself and because I know I’m a guy who focuses on over-delivering — that whatever I do, it’ll usually turn out good.

This is a hard topic to discuss without qualifying everything said.

When I’m lost, I return to abdominal breathing to re-center.

Sometimes I crank up dance music — and this helps me focus my attention on a topic.

I’m also very aware of my blood-sugar level. I’ve found that as my bodyfat percentage goes down, the effect that sugars have on my system are greater…(whereas when I’m fatter, my body dulls the impact of sugar (insulin resistance)) and I need a healthy supply of glucose in my system to keep the brain sharp.

Just thoughts… : – )

Thanks everyone so far for your creative, intelligent and thought provoking comments.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:10 PM

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29
Olivia Romero writes:

Hello Chris and thanks for the thoughtful message.

I find my writing process to be similar to starting and driving a car on a cold, snowy day. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting my reluctanct writing motor to turn over, it finally sputters into a shaky idling mode. But as my motor begins to warm up I find that my speed increases and I let the momentum take me in a purposeful direction. And since the potential for skidding off the road is always present, I remain focused and vigilant for anything that may deter me from reaching my destination…a completed article.

It’s just a matter of getting started…

Olivia

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 10:49 PM

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30

Thanks Chris,

Your mention of your body fat and glucose levels reminds me to be more aware at this level while writing.

At age 73 I have a real tummy. I usually eat simple and natural food, and exercise with sword-work or tennis daily.

Now I shall be more aware of my body condition and when I have a surge of writing energy.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 1:41 AM

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31
Ingrid Cliff writes:

Hi Chris

Great message! I believe truly great copy comes when we are present and “in the flow”. Just like an athlete performs best when in the flow, writing when in the flow is smoother, easier and gets better results.

I have a few rituals/habits to help get me fully present when writing.

1. I light a creativity candle. The act of lighting a candle helps me to centre and take a moment to breathe.

2. Depending on how scattered I am feeling I may even light some incense or essential oils. The aroma helps me to extend my senses and awareness. Flowers on the desk are the non “new age fruitcake” label inducing alternative.

3. I look at the topic and stare into space, allowing my mind to play with the message behind the words.

4. Type like crazy and not censor what is written at that point. If I stop the flow or censor the thought I lose the spontaneity and drop out of flow.

5. Only when the end is reached do I go back and check for grammer, more powerful words and sentence structure.

Being present doesn’t just relate to writing. It relates to managing your team, communicating with clients and growing your business. Bring some of your mindfulness activities to all of these and your business will blossom.

warm regards

Ingrid

Author of Instant Human Resource Policies & Procedures for Small – Medium Business and a weekly newsletter “Heart Paths”.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 4:24 AM

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32

Chris – You asked a great question: How to be present when writing articles?

First, by scheduling a specific time that it outside of your normal work time helps to reinforce the focus of being present necessary.

Second, removing distractions from TV to Radio to open screens on your monitor also assist the goal of focus and being present.

Third, using a brain dump tool such as a journal where you jot down titles or ideas for an article helps. By seeing the written idea generates a lazer focus instead of just thinking about a topic.

Fourth, submit articles according to your marketing plan. When you are focused on your plan, the actions that follow are therefore aligned to that plan.

Fifth, when we are present, we remember we are human. Write with the human touch by telling a story or personal experience. Connect your present self with that past experience.

Great topic Chris and thanks for opportunity for everyone to share their insights.

Peace and abundance
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 9:03 AM

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33

Chris,

Sometimes I come across people online who call themselves “marketing coaches” – and maybe some fit that description, but others don’t.

As Strephon astutely observed, you do a good job of combining marketing with spirtuality.

Perhaps that makes you the coachiest (meaning the most inspirational, motivational, and Zen-like) of Marketing Coaches.

Cheers to that. :)

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 9:38 AM

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34
Phillip Davis writes:

Chris… I fully concur with Dina. If you ever open an Ashram, I’m moving there.

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 9:54 AM

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35

Chris … don’t get a swell head yet :)

You still have to learn to write with your opposite hand!

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 10:29 AM

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36

SPLAT!

[my ego exploding with guts like stuff splattered all over my monitors]… Now I’ll have to clean it up.

The thing I like about ‘spiritual’ topics is that they are hard to argue against… yet I live in a very real physical world where the only way things get done is if you do stuff. ACTION.

So…while you’re all living in the PRESENT, be sure to ACT rather than contemplating the act of acting. :)

-Young Grasshoppa

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 11:40 AM

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37

This is a great question. As I continue to develop my authoring skills, I realize that I have a little ritual that helps me to get into ‘the zone’.
I prefer to write on the computer. First I clear the deck. This means I leave nothing on my desk to distract me (not just the table at which I sit but the computer desktop as well). Then I get a glass of water, walk the dog and sit on my bench in woods for 5 minutes just being quiet.
Finally, I enter a clean space, sit and go to it. It is simple and works every time.
Thanks for asking, Christopher.

Linda McDonald
reachresources.net

Comment provided September 24, 2008 at 8:16 AM

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