Writing for your fellow occultists can be very rewarding.
Not only does it give you a chance to make friends and build relationships, but it also allows for the magickian to stake out their territory within the wider community, show off what they are good at, and maybe discuss things in their practice that still need work.
As a published author I am mindful of the undeserved weight that title adds to my words, and far from wanting to use this small but focused body of professional experience to elevate myself above my fellow chaotes I instead hope to pass on some tips and tricks that got me where I am today.
I share my insights here so others can do what I do, and better.
The first tip is obvious. Write what you know.
This takes on a far more multifaceted meaning for chaos magickians, as it can be assumed that while a small amount of crossover between disciplines exists, each practitioner approaches the task of manipulating reality a little differently.
As such, there is a vast area open for exploration, with as many shards of insight as there are individual perceptions of the truth. Even those solidly defined paradigms such as Wicca or ceremonial magick are ripe for personal interpretation.
This leads to a robust body of both learning and experience that others will be genuinely interested in hearing you discuss.
But just like any tangentially academic field, if you cannot back up what you say with viable sources, you will have to fall back on telling a good story instead.
Not that you should be restricted to merging or synthesising the ideas of others. If you are talented enough to have designed your own magickal system or found a unique method for firing sigils, then an interesting and even emotionally charged narrative can often make up for a lack of supporting arguments.
Less obvious to those lacking experience within the field of writing is how to go about choosing such a narrative voice.
This relates to the wider tone of the article, and will vary a little based on what the publisher prefers.
Some outlets are staunchly academic, requesting factual third-person narratives that have little to no commentary by the author themselves. These will usually require direct quotes and full references to the information being explained, and get very stale extremely quickly unless handled delicately.
Others want to hear you discuss the topic from a personal perspective, usually in first person. These have the opposite problem, and can spiral completely out of control unless a solid framework is hashed out ahead of time.
It is always best to check the guidelines for a publisher before submitting. If there is no hard and fast rules document, then you can always fall back on reading some of the other articles they gave the green light to instead.
Over time, every outlet develops its own tone.
Remember, it is not a matter of copying the style of this earlier work wholesale, but a little research can definitely help find the right publisher for what you want to say.
Knowing how to tell an engaging story is also important, and there is no reason to start at the beginning, either.
Sometimes joining a narrative part way through the timeline of events holds a far greater ability to draw the reader in, and as long as you remember to revisit the past and then discuss the present within the text manipulating the chronology is perfectly fine.
I personally also use a hook and deliver process to keep the narrative interesting. This can be as simple as making a comment early in the essay and then referencing it again towards the end, though practice will allow the author to pull that hook multiple times throughout the text and reinforce their point of view.
It can be a key tool to support your wider narrative, though if overused it may instead seem clumsy or forced. As with all the tips I am sharing here there are general rules to follow when plotting out your work, and good writing is as much a set of ritualised actions as any necromantic summoning or ceremonial invocation.
It can be equally tiring too.
The next most important point is to accept feedback.
When I first started out as a writer, I had a frankly baffling sentence structure. Long, rambling prose with enough commas and diversions to make even Crowley raise an eyebrow. It was a total mess, and the feedback I received about this was difficult to hear at first.
No one wants their individual voice challenged, especially by their fellow authors. But after some resistance, I took those comments on board and drastically altered how I lay out my work.
This, in turn, made my writing far more accessible to a wider audience and helped me see print more often.
While constructive criticism is sometimes hard to accept, those who have been in the game longer than you probably know what works from a purely technical standpoint. Even if you disagree, try not to attack them personally over it.
The occult is a small enough field to be writing in to burn bridges with potential publishers over something so easily correctable.
And that leads into my last point.
Not everything you submit will be published. Writing in any field is a marathon, not a sprint, and my folder of failed submissions is sadly quite full. But the very reason there are so many is because I ignored this rejection and kept trying.
I refused to be silenced.
So yes, writing for your fellow occultists can indeed be very rewarding. But never forget that you are also writing for yourself, and as long as you stay true to your vision, someone, somewhere, will want to read what you share.
And now it is up to you.
The keyboard awaits.