Creative Nonfiction Writing – Behind The Scenes

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I recently took part in an online writing survey by one of my favourite writers, Beth Kempton.

I thought it would be fun to share these behind-the-scenes insights for my fellow bloggers and nonfiction writer friends.

So, here are some of the responses I shared about my creative nonfiction writing process and journey, along with some #bts images of my writing life.

Enjoy!

Creative Nonfiction Writer

Behind The Scenes

Q: What do you write?

I’m a blogger and creative nonfiction writer. 

I write every single day of my life – I love to write.

Currently, my writing life is made up of blogging, creating online courses and resources to support my creativity coaching work, as well as a few writing jobs for other businesses, creating online content for marketing purposes.

I also journal almost daily and make lots and lots and notes and lists.

I write a lot. 🙂

To me, being a writer feels like a soul calling, an integral part of my dharma.

It feels more like an instinctive urge than a conscious choice.

I don’t often call myself a writer in a professional sense, as I make my living from a number of different activities.

However, I identify as a writer at heart, I know writers are my people.

I have had mixed feelings about calling myself a writer in the past, but these days I can happily say I am a writer.

write a book on ipad keyboard case trello app outline tool

Q: What’s your current work-in-progress?

I’d like to write more about spirituality and its role in the creative process – the divine source of our creative spirit, as well as the art of cocreation and intentional manifestation

I’m not quite ready to dive deeply into this work just yet, as I still feel I’m discovering the details for myself.

As I feel more sure of my ideas, I’ll begin to share more of this topic with my audience.

UPDATE: I am now officially testing the spiritual waters with my current work-in-progress: The Creative Arts of Believing & Receiving, which is a collection of my studies and experiments in the realm of metaphysics and spiritual psychology.

the creative arts of believing and receiving laptop table copper mug book copy

Q: What is writing, to you?

I see writing as an expression of something higher within.

I’m still exploring precisely whether this is our own higher nature or a divine source or a combination – it’s a fun study. 🙂

I see all creative expression as the flow of our life force energy, something I believe is a divine connection.

I love the work of Thomas Troward who wrote that we are here to evolve by expressing our divine nature through our unique creative urges and passions.

logitech slim folio keyboard case for ipad pro in use garden writing pad pens books copy

Q: What are your ideal writing conditions?

Peace and quiet.

Beautiful surroundings.

The right kind of music. (For me, that’s classical or yoga music.)

Solitude helps a lot – I don’t need to be completely alone, just minimal contact and conversation with others.

Scents can also be a potent trigger for getting into writing mode.

 

paddy wax writing canlde tolstoy

Q: What gets in the way of writing?

Domestic overload.

(My first book was called Housework Blues – I wrote about my struggles with writing in the busy family years.)

Other people’s social expectations can also take me away from the writing I love, though I am getting better at protecting my time.

Also, when work gets busy, it can leave me with less time and/or mental energy to write.

I work as a copywriter and ghostwriter, which can sometimes leave me less writing energy for my own creative works.

wicker garden swing chair favourite writing spot

{ My garden egg chair is one of my favourite writing spots… }

Q: What stops you writing?

Nothing.

I never can’t write, I always have something to write.

I used to have fears about writing but I learned to postpone any fears about publication or sharing my work until a later stage in the process, which frees me to simply write whatever is coming through with freedom and flow.

It’s a joyful experience. 🙂

Sometimes it almost feels transcendental, like channelling.

laptop notebooks sunshine wooden floor blogging

Q: Define ‘writing success’

Success in terms of my writing is twofold;

I’d like to experience the freedom and confidence of writing exactly what I feel called to write – and doing that with an increasing degree of mastery and skill.

Secondly, I’d like for my best work to reach the people I believe I’m meant to create my work for, what I call my Dharma Audience. 

how to write a book on ipad keyboard notebook inspiration draft

Q: What do you need to flourish?

My kind of question! Creative flourishing is my favourite topic. 🙂 

I feel I already have a flourishing writing life, I write joyfully and often, and I love the work I am creating.

I love how I’ve created a life that allows me to freedom to do the work I love in the way I’ve learned is most supportive to me.

I love that I live in an age when writing is valued – it’s a potent currency in the online world, and I love the technology that makes it easy for me to reach my audience.

What is challenging for me is to maintain order – with so many notes and ideas, I can get a bit overwhelmed at times.

I also need to keep a check on my completion habits, I have a tendency to start many things with enthusiasm only for those to fizzle out after a while.

But I’m making good progress!

Even though I have hundreds of unfinished projects, I remind myself that I have completed 4 books and 6 online courses.

This helps me to keep calm and carry on with taking just a few things to completion. :

 

UPDATE: It’s now 11 online courses! An achievement with I believe is a result of my Flow Productivity formula.

notepad pen cup of tea creative planning

Q: Have you written any Non-fiction Books?

I’ve written and self-published 4 books:

 Housework Blues

 Make Peace with Housework

 From Wannabe to Writer

 Tonics for Your Creative Spirit.

I’ve found writing, creating, designing, publishing and marketing books deeply fulfilling and rewarding. (Mostly!)

I used to think that I would like to be a full-time author, writing a book a year and that would be my idea of writing heaven.

At the moment, I’m enjoying the online format of blogging and online courses, which allows me to create a lot of great content quickly and easily with fewer restriction.

I am building a body of work that I may turn into physical books in the future, but for now, I’m enjoying the process of sharing my words in this fun and flexible format.

journals notebooks stack

Q: Do you have any support – eg writing coach or writing group?

Not currently.

I tend to turn to books or audios if I feel the need for inspiration.

I do envisage some kind of writing retreat in the future, though I don’t feel the need to discuss the challenges of writing with others.

If I get stuck, I tend to go inwards rather than seek others – I journal, pray, meditate, and practice self care – works really well for me! 🙂

yoga mat notebooks laptop work

Q: Who are your favourite Non-Fiction Writers?

Beth Kempton is very inspiring.

I like to follow writers on instagram, to see how their daily lives look, I’m fascinated by other writers and their lives and processes.

I’m also currently working through the Great Courses Non-Fiction course by Tilar J Mazzeo which is hugely enjoyable, largely because I know and love her books. (Her story of The Widow Clicquot is one of my all-time favourite reads.)

I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks by Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg when my children were little and I was first getting into writing, but now my focus is less on the technicality and craft of writing, though I feel I may get back to this as I am increasingly curious about writing fiction at some point.

Evernote for writers

Q: What’s your current work-in-progress?

I’m currently working on sharing more on the practical spiritual tools that help with the writing life, as well as some inspiring stories or examples.

It would also be lovely if these principles deepened my confidence in my calling as a writer.

I’m also working on a major project that will bring the varied themes of my writing in previous years together in one cohesive piece of work.

It’s a huge challenge – I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words in recent years – but it’s one of my favourite things to do, a true labour of love. 🙂 

coloured card flow chart pieces creativity coaching

I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of my non-fiction writing life – and a huge thank you to Beth Kempton for this thought-provoking survey, as well as her inspiring work in supporting writers.

 

Over to you!

Now it’s your turn – what are your answers to these questions?

What does your non-fiction writing life look like?

I’d love to hear. 

I wish you so much joy and flow with your writing process and a wealth of success with your work.

May the muse be with you.

danielle raine creativity coach

PS If this post has sparked your enthusiasm for creative nonfiction writing, you can find some tips and inspiration in the links below.

I also highly recommend this fantastic audiobook by one of my favourite authors, Tilar J Mazzeo.

writing creative nonfiction audible audiobook course ipad

Spending weekend afternoons studying with her in my creative cave is my kind of happy. 🙂

And if you’re new to this wonderful writing genre, here’s a short video to reveal more about its many joys and benefits…

“What if we really lived our lives, moment to moment, and wrote about that? What if we wrote to release what is burning inside us, allowing that to be enough for now?”

~ Beth Kempton

from The Way of the Fearless Writer

Hi! I'm Danielle.

creative coach danielle raine

creative coach danielle raine l

OBSESSED WITH THE CREATIVE PROCESS SINCE 1993

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Dive deeper…

Even though writing creative nonfiction can be a life-enhancing joy, it’s not without its challenges. 

If you feel called to share your own stories or those of people you know, but you feel some resistance or apprehension, take heart that it’s very common.

There’s a whole range of primal psychological patterns that can hold us back

Happily, there are simple remedies for getting past these inner blocks. 

I created my Story Well programme to share all I’ve learned that can help you write and share your unique and valuable stories – and enjoy the process. 

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