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A writer’s intention

By Mayra Cuevas

Buddhism defines intention as a mental factor that moves the mind to an object. Our intention is the power behind everything we do, say and think. It motivates us throughout our day and our life, giving meaning to all our actions.

A loving, compassionate intention, Buddhist believe, will only lead to positive results or good karma. The opposite is true for a negative intention, which will always result in problems for yourself and others.

I struggled with finding my true intention at the beginning of my writing.

Why was I writing this book? What did I want to accomplish? What place did this book have in my life? And what did I want its readers to take away? In order for me to write with a peaceful happy heart, I needed answers to all these were questions because I believed that whatever my intention was while writing the book would reflect on the final outcome and the effect the words would have on the reader.

While discussing my concerns with a wise psychologist friend, Dr. V., she offered a solution.

When Dr. V. was working on her dissertation, she experienced a similar problem. In her case, she was having trouble transforming the mundane aspect of writing her paper into an enjoyable experience. Like me, Dr. V. has a tendency to view life through a spiritual lens. Before she began working on her dissertation, she told me, she wrote a dedication. But it wasn’t the usual dedication, “To x, y and z, for blah, blah, blah.” Her dedication was instead a heartfelt intention for writing and finishing her dissertation. It was a vision that laid the foundation for how she would approach every writing session. She used the document as a guide to remind her during times of discouragement why she was writing. Her dedication became her writing manifesto.

I took her advice and did the same. Before I started writing my first draft, I worked on my writing intention and dedication manifesto. It was divided it in three parts: 1) the actual dedication, 2) the vision for the book and 3) how I wanted to write.

I wrote it from my heart, because I was writing it for myself; mostly, for my future self, the self that would struggle with bad writing days, tired days, and days of discouragement. She would need a reminder of what was at the heart of the words on the page.

While writing my dedication, my boyfriend walked by the kitchen table where I was working and teased me about how I was working on a dedication, when I didn’t have a word written for the book.

Yep, that’s right I told him, because if anything, every book ever written should start with a good-hearted dedication.

What is your intention? Share it in the comments section below. 

Mayra

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