Creating & Comfort Store
Writing from the Deeper Self
Your Treasures into the World . . ."
from the Deeper Self" Newsletter
out the mystery
what it takes to write a book
making room for the Mystery
at the heart of the process.
Is in the Air When You Write from Love
So often, when people think about writing a book, love is not
the first quality that comes to mind. More often, it’s fear, or
overwhelm, or self-doubt, or even a disconnect between the voice that
really wants to write the book and the more surface reasons (e.g., career
booster, fame & fortune) for doing so.
And yet, and yet. Love calls us to write the true story of our lives,
whether we are the subject matter or not. One doesn’t have to write
a memoir to draw from the deepest places within, and in the process come
to know better what the book of your life is about beginnings, middles,
chapter turnings, hindsight wisdom, endings, and the space after the endings.
It’s so important to keep love at the center of your writing. That’s
what knocked on your door in the first place, even if seemingly the story
to be told is difficult, shadowed, unpresenting of apparent light. We
may push our way through, in the sense of laboring to give birth; but
something has preceded that pushing, something has grown organically inside
us, and has let us know of its existence, in faint whispers requiring
stillness to discern, or sometimes loud, gonging knocks. We think we are
writing all on our own; but what placed the desire within us, and pulls
us through the narrow places? Our books, if we are true to our hearts,
are completely seeded in love.
Last month I had the opportunity to take a solo writing retreat at a local
spiritual center. I showed up with not so many clothes, but a suitcase
full of notebooks and papers, and my laptop. For six days, I moved between
meditation, prayer, inspiring readings, walking in the cool and rainy
weather greening the acreage of land outside my deck, and writing. It
was both challenging and wonderful to have no other thing pulling me than
total concentration with which to go deep and bring forth what was in
me. Sometimes, I think I could live like that. It’s one of my happiest
ways of being in solitude. And the deer outside, still as a breath and
then darting away easily and swiftly, gave me the heart gift of wonder
and mystery, as I returned to my room to plumb myself some more. Writing
time became eternal time, deep and without clock-watching. I was sometimes
temporarily frustrated, but I was never bored.
Spending a concentrated and holy six days to write a 3500-word article
on money and the inner life (one of my two writing specialties) called
“The Almighty and the Dollar” (to be published in the magazine
Pure Inspiration) gave me a deeper experiential understanding
of the creative process as a divine process. When you birth something
that is inchoately inside you ~ which only comes into existence because
you make the effort to find it, articulate it, organize, and make it as
beautiful as you can ~ you truly experience yourself as a divine instrument.
It also showed me that only love will keep you persisting, through the
initial “Where do I begin?” and through the spurts of illumination
followed by dull patches of gray, the searching for what is most true
within that also will speak to others.
I was grateful for the time spent there, writing ~ though, as a book developer
and writer, it did seem to me that for all that effort, I might as well
be writing a book! With the article, I had a word limit, and had to reduce
my final flowering 9000 words by two-thirds. (My husband* helped edit
it down.) I prefer the long stride of books, the time and space allowed
in which to find out what’s going on and follow it into deep, unexpected,
and subtle places. But I learned an enormous amount from doing all that
for one article ~ including the craft of exacting cutting ~ and I did
it willingly, for love. I wanted to put into accessible, inspiring words
what I have known under the surface and lived with alone for a long time.
I wanted, in essence, to share my wealth.
So on this Valentine’s Day, may you broaden your perspective of
love to include, but not be limited to, romance. The creative push and
pull to bring forth what is in you comes, without a doubt, from love.
That we get scared sometimes, that we don’t usually know ahead of
time what the journey will bring or who we will be when we get to the
end, doesn’t in any way take away from the love, the love, the love
at the core.
May you experience this love in some form. And if the form is writing
a book, please know that this is my work as a book developer: to help
people, especially first-time book writers, bring forth their treasures
into the world. The world will have a better atmosphere with such books,
and readers, in it.
[P.S. I will send out a notice when “The Almighty and the Dollar”
comes out in Pure Inspiration. After that, it will also be available
as a small booklet from The Creating & Comfort Store ~ for your inspiration.]
* Ralph Dranow, “Editing That Makes a Difference,” firstname.lastname@example.org.