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Writing from the Deeper Self

"Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . ."

Book Development

with Naomi Rose

"Writing from the Deeper Self" Newsletter

Taking out the mystery

about what it takes to write a book

anand making room for the Mystery

that's at the heart of the process.

June 2008 issue:

       1. Introduction: "Wishing You Well"

       2. Feature: "The Joys of Letter Writing--and Book Writing"


Wishing You Well

Sometimes, when I send out my newsletter about various aspects of writing from the deeper Self, I receive replies from friends. They don't always say, "Yes, I'm ready to write my book" - although they
sometimes do say, "I'm still working on it, call you soon" - but they do often use the receipt of this newsletter as a reason to just reply and say hello, tell me how they're doing

In the beginning, having of course read my share of marketing wisdom, I felt like I must be doing something wrong. Wouldn't a "successful" response include 1,500 book orders, and 45 new clients?? But that fell away, leaving me with simply the joy of having friends respond to me with whatever is going on in their lives at the time.

So whatever your take on what you'll read here, know that I am grateful that you are reading it, that you are here, and that - on one level or another - you are in my life and I get to share this newsletter with you. If you feel like clicking "Reply" and letting me know how you're doing, what's going on - please feel free. And if you want to write a book, or read some that I have written, I can help with that as well.

Wishing you a joyful June,

Naomi Rose


FEATURE: The Joys of Letter Writing--and Book Writing

It has been said that in our times of Internet correspondence, the art of letter-writing is dead - that we have been reduced to memos and visual sound-bytes, to the quickest, most utilitarian thought-dashes. The expression of our deep thoughts and feelings, our hearts, our weighed and measured reflections, it is said, don't seem to have a place in the technology of our fast-paced world. Our very language is getting clipped down like hedges to the merest virtual nod of agreement: "Ok, meet you Tuesday." "Try Googling this name. Good luck."

I have sent, as well as received, my share of these.

But sometimes it happens that your heart is somehow stimulated into expressing things so deep in you that the geographical distance between you and the recipient of your letter is no more a barrier to your deeply considered expression than the distance between two hearts that are in tune. In slowing down thought to match the feelings in the body - in
deepening your breath to hear the inner words that can give voice to the perceptions inside you - in opening your heart to reach into yourself so that you can reach out to the person who will read your letter, the medium by which you make this profound connection becomes irrelevant. In Shakespeare's time, you would have used a quill pen; in my father's time, a fountain pen; in my youth, a typewriter. Now we use the Internet to make our connections. And there is no reason why these can't be real connections, beautifully voiced as only an open heart seeking words to put to its music can come up with.

I have been blessed not only to have friends far away who like to correspond by e-letter, but even to have made some dear friends in this way. One of them has even become a likely partner with me in
publishing, since we share the same vision and a similar maternal and spiritual path. Our correspondence began a few years ago, in the most
ordinary of ways, involving polite, inquiring letters and responses back and forth about book publishing. And then at some point, one of us (I think it was she) took the risk of sharing her heart, and the other (that would have been me) - moved beyond measure - followed suit. A friendship grew from that, as organically as flowers; and since we are both writers, we did not stint on expressing our visions, questions, confusions, concerns, blessings, encouragements, hearts. At first I could scarcely believe that a true kindred-soul friendship had developed with someone I had never met. But over time, this friendship became such a
place of comfort that it was completely believable, completely real. And I have had similar experiences in corresponding with some of my book-development clients who live far away.

What is it about writing that has this potential for such intimate connection? How is it that the very act of writing can create pathways for true friendship?

I think it may come from sharing what begins in solitariness. Writing is a solitary pursuit, at first - that's what draws some people to it, and keeps others away. But a solitary connection is often what allows deep-strata truths to be found. What is it you are mining, if not your own being? And when that inner connection takes hold, and the writing keeps it
company - or, more accurately, becomes a conduit for its clarifying revelations - then, although you are writing to a specific someone who will (most likely) later read it, you are also writing to (and from) the
inner place that dwells in you, and in which you dwell, which perhaps too rarely gets to come to the surface of your human interactions. You cannot write a letter - a real letter - to a friend, even via the Internet, without yourself being somehow energized by it, transformed in some way.

And so, once you send it, you are left with the traces of where you have been in the writing, as well as the gift of your writing to your friend. It reminds me of a shrine in nature that I was once shown on a trip to
Hawaii, years ago. "We eat the food," the guide said, "and give the fragrance to the Goddess." When you write a letter from the deeper Self, it's really the fragrance that you're offering. And you get to eat the food.

In addition, sharing with another person what was originally in you alone (and often, not even known to you) can be one of the great joys of human existence. Being seen and known for who we really are is something that, at heart, all of us yearn for. To see ourselves through the writing is a sweetness all its own; and to further be seen and known by another person, reading your letter, is a warming-heart sweetness beyond compare. (And to receive their letter back, and see who they are through the writing, is a further, deepening gift.)

The other day, I got a response to one of my letters - a very grateful, peacemaking response. And my husband, himself a wonderful writer, said to me, "You write such beautiful letters. Maybe I should put them into a book."

That idea pleased me greatly. "The collected letters of Naomi Rose," I said, without as much ego-involvement as that statement would suggest. For I agreed that the letters I have written (and received) have something wonderful in them - both in the moment, and as part of an evolution over time. And, as a writer and book developer, I found the idea of a book of such letters very satisfying; normally, each letter had only one reader; now it might have more. "That's fine with me," I told Ralph, "but I won't hold you to it. Let it cook, and you'll see."

What is the trajectory from letter-writing to writing a book? Is there any connection at all? I think there is, although it may not be obvious. For a book is purposeful, considered, and a long-term commitment; a marriage of sorts; while a letter often takes place in the moment, and - if a letter to a friend, rather than to a business acquaintance, say - has no other purpose than revelation of self, or the exploration of a subject, or the simple transmission of love. It generally takes place in the moment, and, once written, is done.

But some letters are purposeful: to cement a bond, or repair a rift, or propose some kind of joint journeying, or explore the past and bring it into the present, for instance. And some books - much as we may think differently - do not begin with a crystal clear purpose. Not all books arrive in the writer's mind or heart or soul fully formed, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. Most, in my experience, don't. And many of those that do, often change course midway. A book is an experience as well as a project; it asks things of you that you may fear, initially, but that - if you embrace what is asked - will bring you closer to yourself and show you how deep and large and beautiful you are.

Not everyone needs to write a book. Not everyone wants to write a book. But for those who do, writing a book from the deeper Self will nourish and transform you as well as your readers.

If you have a book in you, this approach works because it attends to what's already inside you. There are no formulas, right ways, or templates (though there are organic structures that show themselves).
There's just heeding what's in you, and learning - with my help, if desired, as your book developer/midwife - how to invite it out into words.

Whether you have a book in you now, or later, or not at all, you still can write a letter from the deeper Self. Sometimes it's much easier to write a letter to a particular person, and thereby begin to discover the joys of articulating in words what's inside you. Later, as you begin to realize that you are also writing to and for yourself - finding the jewels overlaid by the rust of neglect, the veil of not looking - you will be able to take
that relationship into your book writing. And everything will be a fragrant, nourishing gift.



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