"You Are the Treasure Embedded in Your Book"
[From Issue #1, May 2004]
desire to write a book rises slowly to the surface, again and again, and doesn't
go away. Yet there are counter-forces that shout or whisper it back down, negative
voices telling you why it is not a good idea, or why you , of all people, don't
have it in you—critical inner voices and demons that can nip your fragile desire
in the bud.
This is not the time to show up the demons by pushing your writing toward a product. This is not the time to gird your loins and crank out a table of contents, or, sleepless, chain yourself to your computer and force out a chapter from start to end. That's just a way ofblocking out the insidiousness of what the inner critic is saying. It's a way of proving that you can do it, but it's based on the belief that what that damaging inner voice asserts is actually true.
If not that, then what is it time for?
Being still. Being present to yourself, to the place in you where the real desire springs from. Letting yourself be with that desire, without needing to know yet exactly how it will manifest as a book.
The book will come out and find its way, in its own time. What makes a book work, despite the popular belief, is not that it meets some external standard. It's that your presence is at the heart of it. YOU are the jewel embedded in the writing.
Difficult as it may be to believe at the outset, revealing your presence in your writing is t the gift of gifts—not only to your eventual readers, but to yourself. Of course, revealing ourselves can also seem scary: if there are things we don't want to see revealed about ourselves, we certainly aren't rushing to show them to others—especially unknown others! But to stay present to the desire within, no matter what obstruction comes,
is a way to give ourselves the kind of recognition we always wanted. And once we have received ourselves in this way, we are less vulnerable to the anticipated criticisms of others.
* Listen to the pulse of desire inside you. Make room for it. Nourish it.
* When the inner critical voices try to block your connection with your desire, take a deep breath and return to the desire.
* Thank the desire for taking root in you.
* Make yourself a vessel for receiving what it gives you. If something comes to be written down—in the middle of the night, while on a walk or washing dishes—write it down. Be present to what comes.
* Stop when it stops. Don't force anything. This signals to your deeper Self that you are committed to the relationship; that the book has life in you, and can continue to grow.
* Thank yourself for your part in this relationship. Without your presence, nothing of value or beauty can take place.