Creating Non Fiction
Contributor

Far from the excessive energy I have always noted in my belly whenever moved to write poetry, creating a non fiction book required thinking, strategy and patience. 

The thinking part compelled me to make lists and lists upon lists of what I wanted to cover in the book. Since the book was meant as a seam between Neuroscience (just the pedestrian kind available in fabulous books like Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain's Way of Healing, or Marco Iacoboni's equally easy to read feast of info, Mirroring People) and Vajrayana Buddhist Tantra...whoa. Already, whoa! 

Where Mindfulness seems an ubiquitous term these days, no one yet has brought to the Western public the advantages of meditating on the icons of Tibetan Buddhism. These dancing or sitting figures and their accompanying mantras elicit many of the same benefits as Mindfulness when used as Meditation Objects, with some extra goodies thrown in for good measure. 

So how to approach such exotic sounding material? I began with a short history of each, using the notion that East meets West in the conclusions to these short chapters. Alternating a Brief History of Neuroscience with some of the more fabulous tales from Buddhist Tantra (one yogi, Padmasambhava, kept the sun at the same point through throwing his dagger, making it clear this is one yogi you don't want to mess with) allowed me to get a grasp on the material in order to present it in its simplest form.  

Then moving back and forth between what Neuroscience does have to say about our brains when we focus on physical shapes, forms and colours, and what Tibetan Buddhist meditation requires (simply repeat, repeat and repeat again) the book began  to build. 

The strategy actually emerged as I continued to think and write from my thinking. And finally with patience I was able to undo and redo, revise and revise (which is my habit no matter what I'm writing) until I felt I had something that was clear, simple, easy to read. 

Have any of you ever written outside your usual genre? Have you found any difference in how you write? 

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