The 5 Core Practices of Highly Successful Conscious Writers

February 13, 2013

The image of an iceberg is a wonderful metaphor for the creative writing process.

The 10% we see above the surface of the water represents the actual words of the blogs, books and other communications we write. It arises out of the 90% that is largely hidden from view yet without which the iceberg would not exist at all.

The same principle applies to our writing. A large proportion of the work we do as writers is invisible to our readers but greatly determines the quality of our work and the contribution it makes to the world.

The following 5 practices may not be obvious as part of the mix from the outside looking in when we read the latest book from our favourite author.

Yet, having spoken with thousands of highly successful Conscious Writers, and from both personal and professional experience of Conscious Writing in action, these practices come up time and again as the foundation for authentic success.

I invite you to dip into one or all of these practices to the extent it feels right for you at this time and see from your own personal experience what contribution they make to your writing, your authorship, and your life.

1. Yin Style Journal Writing

Conscious Writers approach the immensely beneficial practice of journal writing with both focus and flow. The focus is required to show up on a regular basis to do the practice without judgement or any expectation of an end result. Ideally this will be daily and first thing in the morning (most of the time).

The flow or yin style leads away from a rigid structure or number of pages that have to be completed. Instead, it invites us to develop a more intuitive relationship with the practice based on what is required in the moment.

This approach builds awareness into our experience of writing which also benefits all the other writing we do or want to do.

2. Conscious Movement

Conscious Writers understand the importance of engaging the body as well as the mind and emotions in the creative process. According to research published in the journal Psychological Science, people can become more creative simply by changing their posture.

In one study, participants explored creative problem solving using physical movements of their hands to emulate the phrase “on the one hand … on the other hand”. Those who gestured with both hands came up with the most novel ideas.

Adding awareness to physical movement delivers up even more powerful results. Paying full attention when out walking, and undertaking conscious movement practices like yoga create an energetic alignment which enables us to bring our whole self to the creative writing process, and then see the positive results on the page.

3. Cultivating Awareness

Awareness beyond the boundaries of the mind gives rise to the most original and authentic creative expression. Conscious Writers explore this territory from the inside out using a mixture of “formal” and “informal” meditation practice and mindfulness.

The benefits of meditation for health are well-documented. Add to this the expanded awareness and enhanced creativity it cultivates, and the case is made for including at least 15 minutes of “formal” daily meditation such as simply observing the breath.

“Informal” meditation involves carrying awareness forwards into all aspects of daily life as the space out of which our thoughts, words and deeds arise. An aware approach will always be the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of authorship.

4. Being in Nature

One of the most repeated recommendations from highly successful Conscious Writers for anyone wanting to enrich their creative output is to spend time in nature. The ideal circumstances include solitude and silence so we can sharpen our senses to appreciate the subtle dance of life all around us.

Ultimately, we realise that the life flowing within us is one and the same creative energy. Through inner stillness, we empty ourselves of the everyday and enter a space of pure being following nature’s example.

Bringing nature indoors with plants and fresh flowers, and taking ourselves out to experience the wild landscapes of the world, regular time with nature recharges us as Conscious Writers like nothing else can.

5. Nurturing Creativity

When we empty our minds of mundane matters, we make space to fill our hearts with creative inspiration. Conscious Writers recognize the value of nurturing creativity in a multitude of ways so the inner well never runs dry.

Our creative soul may be nourished simply by making time to reflect, listening to music, painting a picture, reading inspirational literature, connecting with like-minded people, cooking colourful meals … or all of the above, and more!

Whatever ignites our personal creative fire, the way for this fruitful level of being to become our reality is to make conscious choices that are based on nurturing our creative soul being a genuine priority. From here, we schedule time, take appropriate action, and resist all but the most urgent intrusions.

These 5 Core Practices provide the foundation from which Conscious Writers build an original and worthwhile collection of writing that contributes something of real value to readers. Taking one step at a time, one practice at a time, gradually over time they become a richly rewarding and creatively productive way of life.

Q4U: What is your experience of one or all of these practices? How do you think they might support you as a Conscious Writer? Share your answers below.


© Julia McCutchen 2013. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is an author, teacher, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing, and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. For more information and a FREE Special Report on Discovering Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world, visit


  1. This is a commonsense, and effective prescription for creativity – ideally to be taken three times a day, before meals! Yet can I follow what the Doctor’s ordered?

    It’s a paradox, but when I come to Spain for inspiration, and to write (I’m working here this winter on my second book ), my spiritual/creative self-discipline goes out the window. I get up what time I please, eat whatever’s around me, and work when I feel like it. Right now, I’m in a hotel room in the city of Valencia, while my yoga and meditation pratice have stayed at home in Totnes, Devon!

    In my mind I have this ‘ideal’ set-up where the sun is shining, I’m doing my practice, the writing is going like a dream… and then I wake up and realise this will only come about through my taking little steps towards making it real! But I do believe it is possible to perfect the life, and perfect the art. Though conditioned by romantic notions of suffering for ones art, I trust that it is possible to be happy, fulfilled and creative. I just haven’t got there yet!

    Anyone else like to comment?!

    Comment by Jon Stein — February 14, 2013

  2. Hi Jon, thank you for sharing your experience which I’m sure many people can relate to even if they aren’t actually stepping up to comment.

    Your life is Spain sounds like it is already infused with inspiration and flow which is wonderful. I’d say that if you are happy with your creative output in terms of both content and productivity, then enjoying the freedom of this deeply yin approach is obviously working for you. Certainly, periods of time spent in this kind of flow can be deeply nourishing in so many different ways.

    There may come a point, however, when you feel that you’d like to go deeper with your content and/or increase the level of your productivity in which case injecting a little yang energy in terms of focus on one or more of these kinds of practices would support you to do that. By that I mean taking your small steps each day towards making a version of your ‘ideal’ scenario a reality and adding in the ingredients that you feel will benefit you the most.

    These practices contribute to us being able to step out of the ‘suffering’ mindset and into a conscious way of being out of which awakened actions that are totally appropriate to the moment arise – including, of course, writing!

    It’s all a process and you seem to be well on your way. Enjoy the unfolding 🙂

    Comment by julia — February 15, 2013

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