1. Is my piece inspiring, informative, and/or educational?
Posts featured on Awakening Times are positive and informative. If your piece is snarky, or sarcastic, or not about living spiritualy, it’s probably not for us.
2. Has this already been covered on Awakening Times?
We feature a wide range of topics on our website. How can your piece add to what’s already there? Perhaps your submission can elaborate on one aspect that didn’t get a lot of attention!
3. What’s a great title?
Remember: our readers are busy. A good title has the potential to grab their attention and make them want to read your piece. If you’re stuck trying to create one, ask yourself: What problem does my article solve? How will reading this article make someone’s life better? How would I explain this to a friend?
4. Is my first paragraph succinct?
You only get one chance to make a first impression! Does your introductory sentence make the reader want to continue? Does your first paragraph tell the reader very clearly and succinctly what the article will be about?
5. Am I offering actionable tips?
A great piece will provide tips that they can implement easily. Here’s an example of a tip that’s actionable: Inhale, count to ten, then exhale as you count to ten again. Notice how clear and precise that is? The reader knows exactly what to do. Here’s an example of a murkier tip: Let go. Okay, sure. But how? (See the difference?)
Here are few pointers to keep in mind when writing for Awakening Times.
1. Write in your own voice.
A great post will sound like a real person wrote it, and it will have a distinctive voice. If you’re not sure what “voice” means in this context, think about it this way: how would you explain your idea to a good friend? Use that conversational tone when you write!
2. Keep it short.
These don’t need to be long posts! Just 700 words is great! If you’re going to offer tips, include a short introductory paragraph at the top of your post explaining why you’re offering this advice. Are you an expert on the topic? Did you struggle to understand the issue and want to share your knowledge?
3. Delete needless words.
Sometimes people use several words when just one will do the trick. We recommend taking one look at your piece to make sure you’re only including words that are absolutely necessary.
4. Use an authoritative voice.
It’s understood that Awakening Times posts are the opinion of the author. As the writer, you’re the expert on your own opinion! For this reason, you don’t need to use phrases like, “in my opinion,” or “I believe,” which detract from the idea you’re trying to convey.
5. Stick to plain English!
Many people who visit Awakening Times are new to yoga and wellness, so we prefer to use plain English when describing wellness terms. For example, if you’re writing about yoga, we like to explain poses this way: Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). This is also helpful to keep in mind if you’re writing about ancient forms of medicine (such as traditional Chinese medicine or Ayurveda) or using other terms that might be new to those embarking on a wellness journey.
6. Show us your sources. (We can’t emphasize this enough!)
If you mention a statistic or a study in your piece, please include a link to that source. If you’re claiming that a certain food is healthy, tell us how you know. Ideally you’d link to peer-reviewed scientific papers, academic journals, and/or credible news outlets. This way, readers can follow your line of thinking and investigate further if they want to know more.
We love personal stories, and we’re always on the lookout for great ones. Really great essays share these qualities:
1. They stay focused.
Keep the spotlight on one time in your life. If you’re writing about falling in love, don’t mention all your relationships in this essay; stick to one important time in one relationship. And keep it on the shorter side. Awakening Times essays are about 800 words long.
2. Include a perspective shift.
Great essays illuminate how you’ve changed in one area of your life. Usually this requires some growth in how you view the world, so let us see that transformation! If you begin at Point A, your essay should wind up at Point B.
3. Don’t leave us wondering about your motivations.
Your choices are what make you interesting, so let us into your thought process.
4. Be really specific.
It’s ironic, but the more specific you are about your life, the more your story will resonate with others. For example, it’s stronger to say “the first yoga class of my life, taught by Elena Brower” than “a class.”
5. Be, well … personal.
The more honest and vulnerable you can be about your struggles and victories, the more readers will be inspired by and empathetic to your story!
Please send all of the above to firstname.lastname@example.org