My Simple Pre-Writing Practice for Focused, Heartfelt Words

For a long time, I thought stress was the cost of getting things done.

You need to do something, so you feel stress…

And when the pain of that stress gets too high, you get moving and shizz gets done.

Simple logic, right?

But what I realized recently…

Is that it’s possible to get things done without the high cost of stress.

The last few months, I’ve been kind of obsessed with doubling productivity without doubling your time and mixing business with pleasure. I’m trying to come up with ways to outsmart the traditional logic and get more done, in less time, while enjoying the process (way) more.

And you know what?

It’s working!

One of the best practices I’ve discovered in my quest to find more joy in running a business is my simple writing prayer. 

Uhhh, what’s a writing prayer? It sounds weird.

Basically, it’s a super quick practice to re-center yourself before you start writing.

Saying a writing prayer reminds you why you’re doing what you’re doing and asks for guidance, wisdom, inspiration, creativity (whatever you want!) to help you write the best piece you can.

I find that saying my writing prayer is especially useful on days when I don’t feel like writing or I’m stuck on a project and unsure where to go next.

A few quick notes:

1. Use my prayer as a jumping-off point.

I always find it helpful to have a sample to start from, which is why I’m sharing this! But I’m def not suggesting this is THE writing prayer or saying you should use it word-for-word.

Make this your own. Change it, trim it, add to it, to suit your business goals and needs. Tweak away, bud!

I find the more personally meaningful you can make these words, the better. I worked with my prayer for weeks, making little edits, before settling on the final wording. Keep going until it feels 100% grounding for you.

2. I don’t know who this prayer is to.

I know the word “prayer” has religious connotations. But, honestly? I don’t know who I’m talking to when I say mine.

Whether it is capital-G-o-d, whether it’s the capital-U-Universe, whether it’s some kind of creative muse (as Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art,) whether it’s my intuition, I’m not entirely sure. But feeling like there’s someone/something beyond just me at the keyboard feels really good…so I just go with it.

3. It’s nothing fancy!

I wrote this one day when I was feeling stuck and saved it in the Notes app on my iPhone. That’s still where it’s stored today!

Don’t overcomplicate it or worry about getting it “perfect”. Just take a few minutes to draft your own version, save your prayer in a spot that’s easy to find, and pull it out the next time you start writing. Easy.

My Writing Prayer

Here’s what I say — sometimes aloud, sometimes in my head — before starting to write:

Please help me tell the best story I can with this opportunity.

Help me use my words to build a bridge between this work and the person who really needs it.

Help me make others feel truly seen and less alone; for this message to be expressed clearly, fully, and honestly; and to create good in the world, even in tiny ways, even in small scraps.

And please help me to bring the very best of my writing to this work — to take my gifts and pour them into something bigger than myself, to make something wonderful.

Yep…that’s it! Just a few words is all it takes to re-center and invigorate me to feel excited about writing.

I hope seeing my writing prayer inspires you to create one of your own and speak it (out loud or in your head) before writing.

Give it a try the next time you need to relax before writing, want a reminder of WHY your writing matters, or you’re wishing for some creative guidance outside yourself. This writing prayer ticks all those boxes!

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What practices do you incorporate into your workday to stay centered, reduce stress, and bring joy into your work?

(Big ones, little ones, ones as big as your head…I’ll take ’em all!)

Please share yours in the comments so I can test them out in my own biz. 🙂

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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