Writing is a journey. Though it's taken some time, effort, trust, and clearing, I've come to the place where I accept and embrace that I possess a gift in the ability to write well. But this, for me, has been but the first step in writing. Writing requires faith in ones ability to write, but writing also requires both a discipline to write and a willingness to live life so that we'll have something worthwhile to say. Good writing is a mixture of form, beauty, and story.

My story, my journey to becoming a writer, began about nine years ago. A series of life-changing events including recovery from lots of addictive substances and behaviors led me to new outlook on life. I was introduced to a God of my understanding; I learned to love myself and others; I began to embrace the mystery and majesty of life. I discovered a part of myself that I'd kept locked away most of my life, a creative, expressive, contemplative self. I wrote. First for myself, journaling, purging, accepting, releasing my past and the thoughts and beliefs that bound me to my instinctual and sensory self. In the process, I was reborn, and, I became a writer.

I began writing poetry, occasionally at first, then much more regularly as I dove deeper into awareness and the divine love I sought. I've written over two thousand poems since. Still though, even after so much writing, most every day, even after sharing my poetry with friends and others on blogs and my website and receiving lots and lots of praise and encouragement, it took me five years or so to believe I was a poet.

Then gradually, slowly, I began to believe I could write in other styles and genres. I planned and began several novels and non-fiction works. But each time, I'd get distracted by the nagging fear that I wasn't quite good enough, that few people would want to read what I wrote. I wanted to write more, publish more, share more with the world, find and attract an audience, but my lack of faith held me back.

My life changed again late last year when I was laid off from my job as a website developer. Instead of merely wanting to be self-sufficient in my writing career, I'm being nudged from wish to intent to manifestation. I feel led by divine inspiration to move forward, releasing my old fears, and believing that the seed planted in me will indeed bear fruit. So, faith, in both the Universe and in myself, has moved me closer and closer to my acknowledging and embracing my writing and having the courage to continue to write and share what I write.

To my growing faith, I needed to add some discipline. I find that simple and pure intent is not enough for manifesting, for creating. Sure, I attract opportunities by my emotions, my intents, my vibration, but I find that my faith needs some teeth. And the teeth, for me, comes in the form of discipline. About six months ago, I came up with a simple idea, followed by a simple formula that works. The simple idea was the "one word business plan." There are lots of aspects of writing: research, preparation, learning, proofreading, editing, promotion, involvement with groups, letters to publishers and agents, accounting, bookkeeping, communication, social networking, etc., etc. But at its core, at its essence, to be a writer, one must write. So rather than put together a long, involved, complex, plan, I decided to follow a simpler path. My one word business plan. Write.

From a practical standpoint, I decided to write first every day. Not quite literally, I enjoy my coffee and reading from a few inspirational books and spending time with nature first most mornings. But my first order of business, my first active work, is to write. I write or edit five or six days a week, for thirty minutes, first each morning. Since starting this disciplined approach, I've completed four manuscripts, two non-fiction, self-help books, one of which is published, and two collections of poetry.

Finally, what I'm learning more and more, is that I need to live what I write. If I'm not, I'm writing mere theory or esoterica. When I write from a place of both divine inspiration and human experience, my work comes to life.

I'm very excited about my latest work, Embracing Happiness. I began it a few days ago and am so enjoying the journey of discovery of the way to and of happiness. I'm confident that with my growing faith, my sustained discipline, and my choice to live my writing, it will be a wonderfully fulfilling experience and a successfully published book.

Much love,
Stevie Ray