7 Writing Lessons from Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra M.D. is a globally renowned, bestselling author and public speaker, famous for combining ancient principles from Vedanta with modern medicine. Among his more than 80 published books, some of his works include titles such as On My Way to a Happy Life, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The Future of God: A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times and The 13th Disciple. Writers can learn from both Deepak Chopra’s books and teachings, as well as by his own example as a writer. Here are seven things that budding writers can learn from the wisdom of Deepak Chopra.
1. Have faith
If you’re really spiritual, then you should be totally independent of the good and the bad opinions of the world…you should have faith in yourself. – Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra advises having faith in yourself. Without worrying about the good or bad opinions of the world, you must continue to do what is necessary, which in your case, is to write. By working hard and having faith in yourself, you will get to the point you desire to be at. Even if you don’t become incredibly successful (although there is no reason not to except for the limitations you create yourself), doing what you love will bring you satisfaction, and that is every bit as important.
2. Find a need
Deepak Chopra has admirably demonstrated the idea of finding a need and then fulfilling it, through how he wrote and marketed his own books. A doctor by profession, Deepak recognised the need for a more holistic approach to medicine, and began to write books discussing alternatives to the regular approach of the medical establishment. Similarly, see where you can find a gap in the market and try to fill it according to your qualifications.
3. Do your best
Pursue excellence, ignore success. Success is a by product of excellence. – Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra advises that if you concentrate on giving your full potential to your work, success will follow as a by product of your efforts. If you write with all your heart and ensure that you take adequate pains to do extensive research, get your book proofread and fulfil all the other preliminary and post-writing requirements, you too will achieve success. The trick is to concentrate on doing good work instead of stressing yourself out by trying to attain success. A slight shift in your outlook such as this can mean a world of change.
In a Huffington Post article in 2012, Deepak Chopra discussed his views about writing. The main tip he gave budding writers is to look further than the bestseller lists and to go where the readers are. He claims that self-promotion is the key to success and you need to interact directly with your readers. Successful writers will have to turn into book entrepreneurs, as independent publishing continues to develop as a viable path, and traditional publishing becomes more and more selective.
5. Confront challenges
Hardships, problems and worries come into everyone’s lives, and no one is exempt from having a taste of the bitter realities of life. Deepak Chopra advises that when faced with such challenges, it is essential to accept that worries are useless and to choose another approach that increases your options, and sense of freedom. For instance, if you have a problem with finding time to write, wake up an hour early and write every day. This way, you can turn challenges into opportunities and take advantage of the results.
6. Be prolific
Deepak Chopra has written more than 80 books. This is a prolific amount of publications, and means the impact of his work can touch more people. On a similar token, be a prolific writer by increasing your output. By getting more words down on paper (compared to a writer who might take a year to complete one book), you increase the odds of completing more books, and getting your work in front of larger numbers of readers.
7. Translate if you can
With his works being translated in over 43 languages, Deepak Chopra’s books have a true international presence. Is there a market for your books in other countries? If so, consider how you may be able to get your work into the hands and/or on digital readers in other regions of the world. Of course, this may not be straightforward if your books are traditionally published, as your publisher will most likely own foreign rights. However, if you’re self-published, then this can certainly be something you can explore.