Book Developer Naomi Rose Says Yes, If….

Ask most people if they think they could just up and write a book, and most likely you’d get blank stares, perhaps the kind you see in the eyes of deer caught in car headlights. But ask those same people, "Do you think there is a book in you?" and you’d get another kind of response entirely, a softening of the gaze, an inward, wistful, hopeful look.

According to book developer Naomi Rose, originator of the Writing from the Deeper Self approach, the difference between those two responses has to do not with the giftedness of the writers-to-be, but with their belief about how a book comes to be written. "Most of us were brought up to believe we have to use outlines in even thinking of writing a book," she explains. "That we have to have a logical understanding of what’s going to happen before it happens. But the creative process isn’t like that. Throughout the centuries, artists have been sparked into embarking on their creations because of one small persistent thing that they couldn’t explain away–a vision, an image, a memory that echoed through their souls. If you trust the truth of this ‘small persistent thing,’ it can become the doorway into a work of writing that surprises and transforms even the writer. And this is available to everyone, not just the greats from the past."

Rose should know. The daughter of two writers, she experienced not only the dyed-in-the-wool literary education that comes with two parents at the typewriter and dinnertime discussions of characters in novels, but also an overwhelming pressure to produce great writing, herself. "I was an overachiever in college," she confesses, "doing well on English papers and holding forth with the appearance of great critical assurance. But in my own creative life I was not at all confident. I would write stories with adolescent themes–love, belonging, not belonging–but my critical faculties were so much more developed than my trust in the creative process that I didn’t get very far."

An eight-year bout of writer’s block in adulthood brought her face-to-face with the profound psychological pain that such a period can bring. "There was something inside me that needed to come out," she recalls, "but I didn’t know what it was or how to let it out. I certainly wouldn’t have dared to write a story, much less a book. I thought, ‘A real writer would have it all together,’ and I certainly was not in that place at that time."

Eventually, the need to write a book became stronger than the fear of writing. "I had no idea where or how to begin," Rose recounts. "Fortunately, I had worked in the publishing industry as a substantive editor for over 25 years, so at least I knew how a book was put together. I also sensed, however, that the traditional guidance on writing a book would not work for me in writing a book of the soul, in contrast to an informational book. Fortunately again, I had done a good deal of exploration into various elements of healing–physical, spiritual, and psychological–and it seemed to me that these healing ways could just as well be part of the writing process in order to bring forth a book."

Which is how her unique approach to writing, Writing from the Deeper Self, came to be. While she does bring her considerable professional expertise to her clients to come for assistance with creating their own books, she sees her major contribution as helping these people "listen for the heart of their desire–where both they and the writing breathe"–and then allowing the book to grow out of that, rather than some superimposed idea of how the book should go. While she finds that her women clients are more naturally receptive to this approach–"I think because it is more a relational and cyclical than a linear approach"–it works just as well for men.

"I don’t really thinks it’s so much a difference of ‘women vs. men,’" she says. "I think it’s more the ongoing evolution to bring ourselves, as individuals and a culture, into balance: the two hemispheres of the brain (the right being more relational and less linear); the ego (with its belief that it can control everything) and the soul (which already knows what we need if we can quiet the ego enough to listen); the trust in the ‘persistent small thing’–the touching memory that lingers, the sense impression that revives–rather than the ‘world-shakingly great idea on a huge, cosmic scale.’"

For Rose, "Each of us is a microcosm of the Divine. If we write what is actually in us with wonder, trust, and compassion, as it presents itself to us (i.e., without tampering from the place of insecurity and desire for complete control), we will be gifted with original, inspiring, heart-felt writing. And because this writing comes to us from a deeper, more universal place, it reverberates in the hearts and minds of our readers, who–unbeknownst to themselves–have all this time been waiting for someone to address that one, persistent thing.


© Copyright 1986, 2003 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.


TOUCHING WRITING (reprinted from Massage Magazine,
Issue 104, Sept. – Oct. 2003)

HEALING THE WRITER’S WOUNDED LIFE (reprinted from Writer’s Connection, December 1986)


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