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Writing from the Deeper Self
Your Treasures into the World . . ."
September 2007 issue:
- Introduction: "Shifting from
a Book-Product to a Book-Process Orientation"
"The Commitment of Writing a Book"
"The Web of Grace"
- Invitation: "What Would You Like
to Know About Writing a Book?"
- Inspiration: "About
the Writing from the Deeper Self Logo"
from a Book-Product to a
“The world itself becomes a scripture or book to the soul.”—Hazrat
Growing up in a family of writers, whose bookshelves were lined with all
the bound dreams and ideas of the world, I came to believe that books
were more important than the people who had written them, and more authoritative
than the small inner voice within. And so much of my personal healing
journey, over the decades, has been to find ways in which to hear that
“still small voice” which is the real Author of our lives,
and also to honor books for the deep healing forces and repositories through
the ages they can be.
When I first began my career in the publishing world, many years ago,
I “fell into” a job as an editor. My job was to make marks
all over the papers I was handed, so that everything read well and sounded
authoritative. Eventually I worked for publishers directly, where I was
handed manuscripts (usually nonfiction) written by (usually) non-writers
and told, “Make this work!” And, over time, I learned how
to do just that.
But all the time I wondered about the people who had written these manuscripts;
who they were behind their titles, what their process of writing had been,
where, in the somewhat obfuscating verbiage (two words an editor would
certainly strike out) their hearts lay. And finally, after going through
a major writer’s block of my own, I realized that the remedy lay
not in more writing techniques but in the healing of the human heart,
in our relationship to the Divine. What Martin Buber called the “I-Thou”
orientation would do well to enter into our relationship with ourselves
when we even think about writing books. Then it would be true that “the
world itself becomes a scripture or book to the soul.”
I believe we are all suffering from an overly “product” orientation—a
rather materialist view of life that judges the tangible thing one can
hold in one’s hand to be superior to the human being from whom that
“product” emerged as a process, and superior also to the invisible
source from which the desire and the unfolding process comes. This product
orientation takes many forms--from the hyperbolic efforts to boost book
sales at Amazon.com to, more regretfully, how we view ourselves as human
beings seeking to create something of value. “Who needs another
book on the bookstore shelves?” is a frequent self-doubting complaint.
But it’s not a matter of how many books there are on a shelf. It’s
a matter of coming to know that you are being called to impart that small
window of light that only you possess, that the rest of humanity will
be helped towards completion by. Seeing writing a book as the deepest
spiritual service, towards yourself as well as your readers, changes everything.
Suddenly, the path is open, and the destination is bright.
In these newsletters, I will draw on my experience as a Book Developer
and writer, as well as a student of healing, to enlighten and encourage
you to write—or consider writing—the book of your heart. To
that end, you’ll find here articles, tips, news of helpful products,
and inspiration. -- Naomi Rose
The Commitment of Writing a Book
Why would a human being want to write a book? Writing something, yes,
of course—for expression, for exploration of ideas, for business,
for career; an article, a short story—but why a book? Books take
a long time to write; they are the “slow food” of writing.
And they require something of the writer beyond even making time and space
to sit down and write it. They require a commitment, as if to a marriage.
A commitment in time, certainly. A book seems to take at least a year
to write, and in some cases 3, even 10 (not working on it every day, in
that case, but living with it all the same). l had a client once, a very
efficient businesswoman as well as a very deep soul, who declared that
she was going to write her book in 6 months. I didn’t want to be
discouraging, and besides, what did I know? Perhaps it could happen. But
as time went on, the “get it done” approach yielded to deeper
explorations, so 6 months turned out to be too little time for her, as
As someone who has written several books—some of them in a matter
of weeks, it’s true, but those were “how-to” books,
while another has taken over 10 years—as well as helping clients
bring their own books to fruitful life, I sometimes wonder at my love
of writing books. Why does something in me persist in believing that it
is not only sometimes rigorous, but also one of the most loving, even
compassionate, things you can do for yourself and, dare I say, humanity?
To wed yourself to the promise of exploring and setting down on paper
something that feels essential to you, and to weather the phases and moods
of writing until something deeper than surface desire or resistance is
operating and begins to draw you along, is to participate in a holy pilgrimage
of the soul. This is true even if you are writing a memoir, a book about
science, about child-rearing, or about money, to name a few of the subjects
that some of my clients and I have felt drawn to explore on the page.
It is one thing to set out information, but it is quite another to place
yourself at the center of the exploration, no matter what its ostensible
subject, and make the commitment to stay with the unfolding of yourself
and your subject over the course of pages and chapters and time. No writer,
I believe, is the same after completing a book as when beginning it, which
is why so many writers then return to the beginning and revise it in light
of what they have learned through the very act of writing the book. The
book begins as a desire, a wish (though often beset with attending fears
based on self-worth), and over time becomes a teacher, a mirror, an illuminator
of what is inside you. Then you are no longer writing something that your
ego may have laid down, but following the golden threads of something
larger meant for your ego to find and humble itself by.
We are so much larger than we take ourselves to be; our human conditioning,
whether by family, school, or culture limits our perception of what we
are capable of and who we even are. And writing a book—perhaps because
of its scope, its beckoning promise, its potential to lead us to a distant
shore and, in the process, show us that we are the entire landscape—has
the very real potential to disentangle that conditioning and show us to
ourselves (and thus our readers to themselves) as effulgent, large beyond
telling, able to leap the divide of self and span hearts throughout the
centuries to come.
So writing a book from the deeper Self can be a legacy to ourselves, showing
us what lies between our covers, and a legacy to those who come after.
It is a commitment, but it is a worthy one, and those who persist come
out burnished by the light of their own looking, and with a “product”
to share, promote, and sell, to boot. Perhaps this holy path is for you…
The Web of Grace
And then sometimes, you don’t have to work so hard.
Sometimes, all you have to do is set up the intention, and clear away
an inner space, and all you need will come tumbling into your lap, so
to speak—will arise in consciousness and say, “Me, me, take
me, use me!” And you will, and it will be perfect!
I am reminded of this because I just walked outside my front door and
saw a spider in mid-weave of her web. The strands are gossamer, nearly
invisible, and the amazingly intricate patterns so delicate-seeming that
they only show up if the light falls on them in a certain way. Yet for
what that web is trying to attract and hold, it is strong enough.
So there are different ways and aspects to writing a book. One is the
long-term relationship commitment aspect, which I wrote about above. And
another is the less mountain-climbing, perhaps more feminine aspect of
putting forth your web—your intention, your wish, your prayer—and
seeing what arises as a result of that.
These days, we are becoming used to considering the reality of spiritual
manifestation—of looking in a certain direction for a certain thing
and watching as the universe gives us evidence of it. But are you aware
that this kind of thing can affect your writing, too? Not only in terms
of what comes to you, in response to an intention or prayer, from outside
(e.g., meaningful billboards glimpsed while walking down the street) but
also what comes to you from the vast reservoir of inside. Grace can arise
and show itself as what occurs to you to write now, as the next leg of
the journey, the bend in the road.
In this aspect of writing from the deeper Self, it is not so much about
rigorous doing as it is about receiving. And recognizing that you have
indeed received something, and that furthermore you can actually trust
yourself to receive from within what you ask for, and let it glide you
ahead a certain distance on your path, as a snail slides ahead on its
own excretions. I notice that both my analogies have concerned insects,
but perhaps there is some value to this subconsciously chosen illustration.
We look for big things to move us along, big things to make it known (to
us and others) that what we are writing is Important, Heroic. Not to say
that it is not; but sometimes all we need is something small, subtle,
natural to open the doors and let us glide in, to pull us into its weave,
to spin the web ourselves.
Whether you take the “building/making” view of creating a
book, or the “spinning/ gliding/receiving” view, both are
aspects of the creative process, and wherever you find yourself on the
active-receptive spectrum is good and useful. Perhaps you might benefit
from the realization that there is another way to experience, as well.
If I had to proclaim all this to the world on a bumper sticker, it might
say: “There is no one right way to write a book, to get into it,
to feel about doing it, or to receive the inspiration. You are a unique
manifestation of the Divine, and it will come to you in a way fitting
you—if you slow down and pay attention, and honor what comes.”
I know that would be a very long bumper sticker; but hey, I am a slow-food
kinda writer, and it would say what I know to be true.
Would You Like to Know About Writing a Book?
An invitation to participate
In the August newsletter, I addressed getting published, promoting your
book, and other practical concerns. I know that once a real book-of-the-heart
has been written, the author wants it to get “out there,”
and do well in the world. Of course! We all want our cherished “children”
to be successful and well received.
Rather than declare what you need to know about writing a book, I invite
you to tell me what you want to find out. I will address these concerns
in the newsletters to come. Feel free to ask anything. There’s no
“wrong question.” Do you want to know about the creation process?
How to keep going? What does “promotion” actually entail?
What is an ISBN number? How do you copyright your book, etc.? While there
are many other sites that deal with the more practical concerns, I realize
that this is part of the deal. So ask whatever is up for you, and if I
don’t know the answer(s) I’ll do my best to find out.
Email me at: email@example.com, and make it clear in the heading
that this is a Newsletter Question.
the Writing from the Deeper Self Logo
The rose mandala that is the Writing from the Deeper Self logo has both
obvious and subtle symbolic meaning. Do you see the rose at the center
and also around the perimeter of the circle? The rose is a symbol of the
heart; and ~ as Writing from the Deeper Self has everything to do with
coming from the writer’s heart, and thereby speaking to the readers’
hearts ~ this is a fitting motif. The rose is also (truly) my name: It
was my middle name at birth; I took it as my last name after the end of
my first marriage, hoping to grow into its promise.
In the very center of the rose at the center is an open space that looks
much like a pearl. This is “the pearl of great price” that
exists in the center of each of our hearts—a space that, when listened
to and allowed to flower, really does bloom within us as our radiant being.
To write a book from this place produces pearls.
Lastly (and this is the part that most people miss ~ did you catch it?)
the white areas between the rose at the center and the roses on the perimeter
are pages ~ book pages. When you write from your deep Self, the heart
of your being, the place where you were within yourself during the writing
is transmitted in your book’s pages to your readers’ hearts
(the outside of the circle), thus bringing them into the center of their
own hearts. Thus, the reader-writer circle expands, nourishes, heals our
hearts and, in this way, the entire world.
for archived newsletters:
"You are the treasure embedded in your book"
"You Don't Have to Eat the Elephant at All"