I remember hearing from any number of yoga teacher trainees when I was working with them at Nature Care College that they would like to write articles on yoga topics. So far, I’m not aware of any of the grads of that course being published in any “trade” magazines I’ve come across. This doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, of course.
What makes for someone being called a writer? I suppose until you are published, you are a writer only in your own mind.
Writing is not necessarily an easy road and getting published is more of a rocky uphill. I was lucky when I decided I wanted to write a book to get a direct connection to the commissioning editor at Simon and Schuster, who just happened to be looking for a basic yoga book to add to their list. Five months later, I completed my manuscript according to the time agreement I made with S & S, and dropped it off on my editor’s desk.
I didn’t know how to write a book, but I did know my topic and I had made a good outline. I decided to use the same approach that I used for yoga practice, only I put myself in front of my brand-new computer, instead of onto my yoga mat, every day at a regular time for 3 hours of writing. In the beginning, my writing was like a beginner’s tadasana – rather self-conscious and wooden. Amazing what can happen by practising something every day.
I was never so happy as when I received a fax from my editor after submitting my first chapter which said: “This is pitched exactly to the market I had in mind. Keep on keeping on!” And, so I did. The rest is history. Teach Yourself Yoga was published in 1997. The rights for the book reverted to me several years ago. It still sells.
Nowadays you can be a writer just like this, like what I’m doing at this very moment, and be published and read right round the world. If you want to be a good writer, however, better sit yourself down every day and be open to taking any coaching that comes your way. It’s no place for thin skin.