are some suggestions to spark your creativity and get the
ball rolling. They're not meant to be absolutes, answered
by every contributor to these books. They're simply there
to get you thinking, and see what your subconscious mind throws
up in the days after reading them.
Pick one absolutely compelling idea and write about that.
What is it about your work or experience that is so unusual
and thought-provoking that no-one else is talking about it,
and if you describe it to colleagues they become genuinely
excited? Don't try and cover your whole approach, or summarize
the entire subject. This virtually never works. Instead, pick
one single riveting idea. For example, Joan Borysenko said:
"Ancient sages said that walking on water was a simple
discipline compared to mastering your mind." Then she
talks about that one big point.
Be outrageous, provocative, fresh, startling. Dullness never
grips an audience. Don't adopt a pedantic tone, with you as
the teacher and the reader as the student. Instead, imagine
yourself enthusiastically sharing your ideas with friends,
and use that tone in your writing. The audience for these
anthologies is very sophisticated and well-read; you can assume
a broad and deep knowledge base among your readers.
Get personal. Tell your own story. What obstacles have you
faced? How have you overcome them? What drew you into this
discipline? What is your passion. Be self-disclosing, and
personally present. Use the voice of the all-too-human friend,
not the distant expert.
Pull a story or two from your practice, or experiences with
your clients. What are some of the most touching case histories
that illustrate the points you are making?
5. Make sure you're familiar with other writers in your genre. Quote them if necessary, but do so sparingly. Speak from your own authority.
What factors have you observed truly motivate people to make
deep and lasting changes? Share them if appropriate, especially
practical techniques for applying the points you have laid
out to daily life.
An informal style is okay. Write first, edit later! Just sit
down and write your chapter, without thinking too much in
advance. Get your first inspiration on paper; we'll help you
clean up the structure and language later.