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Writing from the Deeper Self

"Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . ."

Book Development

with Naomi Rose

Newsletter archive from

the October 2007 issue:

    
  1. Introduction: "Writing with Love" 
  2. Article: "Your Book Can Heal the World: Looking in the Mirror of Our True Nature"
  3. Article: "The 'Deeper Self' Book in the Marketplace: Who You Are & What You Value Makes a Difference"
  4. Questions & Answers: "How to Keep Creativity Alive," "Tips on Self-Publishing, especially (a) Marketing, (b) Bringing in an Illustrator, and (c) Printing.
 

1. Introduction: Writing with Love

“Whenever I come to the subject of love, My pen breaks, And the paper slips out of my hands.” ~ Rumi

So much of our writing is functional, these days ~ emails, notes, promotional literature, even, perhaps, our concept of book-writing ~ that we may not think of it in terms of the kind of love that breaks the pen, drops out the paper. Yet writing with Love as the motivation expands us beyond who we think ourselves to be, astounds us with its power to bring us back to our truest being.

It can be difficult to sustain and complete (sometimes, even to begin) a book that is powered by an ego-need alone: fame, fortune, career advancement, and so on. But when you feel in your heart a call to say something, explore something, and you follow it ~ not knowing, in the beginning, even quite what it is, or how it may unfold ~ then, as unsure as you feel your steps to be, something in you knows that you are not “making something happen” but following something that is leading you, opening the doors for you and ushering you through. Though fear and self-doubt may arise along the way, in your heart of hearts you trust that what is leading you through is Love. And then all your words turn out to be steps, leading you to the realms of something that cannot be named or spoken. That is the journey of writing from the deeper Self. When you take it, you meet yourself as you have never met yourself before.

In this October issue of the Writing from the Deeper Self newsletter, you will find inspiring articles, tips, good things to read, answers to readers’ questions, products to help you write your book and transform your relationship to money, and more. You can read it all at one sitting, or over time, in digestible pieces. I hope you will read it. It is my gift to you.

In this time when so much healing is needed, the essential thing I hope to impart to you in this newsletter is that:


* healing lies within you


* writing a book (if you are ~ like a reported 85% of the population who believe they have a book in them ~ so inclined) can be a healing experience for you


* your book can help to heal the world, and


* no matter what the outer world’s values appear to be, your voice and actions, even your thoughts, can affect what happens in your reader’s minds and hearts, in the publishing industry, and in the very atmosphere of the Earth.

So please take a breath, relax your computer-glazed eyes a moment, and receive this gift, through my words, of yourself. May your October be full of light, and may the words of your heart ~ in book form or not ~ grace your life and the world. May your writing be powered by, and lead you to, Love.


~ Naomi Rose

Copyright © 2007 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.


 

2. ARTICLE

Your Book Can Heal the World:
Looking in the Mirror of Our True Nature
 

Have you ever read a book that touched you so deeply ~ in your heart, in your soul, in your mind ~ that it actually moved you closer to your deep Self? So that afterwards ~ at least for the next few days or weeks, while its impressions consciously replayed and filtered through your awareness ~ how you looked at life was different ~ more hopeful ~ more visionary, compassionate, accepting of what it is to be human? So that the person you became as a result of taking that book inside you who then moved in the world, moved more clearly, gratefully, inspiredly? So that the world itself was changed because of how and who you now were, in it?

I am guessing that you have, even if as a child being read a story, or reading to yourself Alice in Wonderland, The Little Prince, The Little Lame Prince, The Secret Garden, and other classics of the true imagination.

And did you ever stop to think that the book that you write can do the same thing for people who read it?

It doesn’t even so much matter what the topic is. Any subject can become a door into what binds us all together, no matter what the unique details of your particular situation. You can be writing the story of your life. You can be writing a travel book. You can be writing about business, or relationships, or money, or child rearing, or anything you are drawn to write. (These are actual subjects written by some of my clients or myself.) The healing aspect comes in when you bring your deeper Self into the telling. And you do this by:


1. learning how to listen to what’s inside your heart,


2. trusting its (often initially nonverbal) ways of making its message known to you, and


3. learning how to translate that inner sensing into written language that
* carries out the deeper Self’s intention, and also
* naturally rises into metaphor and poetry (“naturally,” because you have encountered something ineffable—beyond words—and the metaphors come to your rescue as a way to allude to that “beyond”)

A book that is written from the deeper Self is different from a straight-informational book, although it may indeed contain valuable information. As a reader, you’ll know the difference because you feel taken inside the writer’s experience and being, to the point where you feel closer to your own being. Even if the situations being described are wildly foreign to your experience, what is under those situations feels deeply recognizable to you, and helps bring you closer to what is inside you.

Gratitude for such a reading experience is not unusual. We crave a mirror of our true nature. We have craved it since infancy, and many of our adult relationships, often unconsciously, are predicated on trying to get someone to see who we really are—our goodness and vastness, rather than the more constricted and often unkind versions of ourselves we have grown to carry within as our identities.

So when an author, by having the courage and the love to mine the gold of their own true nature, shows us to ourselves, we are grateful ~ sometimes to the point of tears ~ to encounter ourselves at last. Perhaps it is like what the poet Derek Wallcott wrote:


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

You can see what an impact your book, when written deeply and truthfully, could have in the world ~ especially in a world so hungry for real Being, a world so saturated with superficial yet powerful values that tend to take us away from our true nature. Books can be a healing balm for the soul, even if the journey described is not always easy.

It has been said that our thoughts and feelings create an atmosphere. Certainly, a book from the deeper Self has an “atmosphere.” When I was a child reading the adult books in my writer-parents’ bookshelves, I was too young to understand the complexities of plot, characterization, themes, and so on. What I did get was the atmosphere: what a room felt like at night, what a river felt like, flowing; the close-up of a loved woman’s face, a turtle crossing the road.

Extending this notion of “atmosphere” further, in our time of global warming and serious concern about the atmosphere, consider the possibility that the atmosphere of your book might somehow be beneficial to the atmosphere of our shared world.

How could that be? Can a book recreate the ozone layer? Well, here’s an esoteric thought: What if the atmosphere in our own minds is the fertile ground in which our planet will be healed? And if that might be even the slightest bit true, then the atmosphere your book creates can go a long distance towards healing the planet, by healing the inner life of the reader; by providing new impressions, healing atmospheres, to shift the “paradigm” to a more beautiful and healthy one.

How do you create an “atmosphere”? Essentially, you write from within an experience, so that where you are, the reader goes too. (In my new feature, “Something Good to Read,” in this newsletter, my own excerpt provides a good example of atmosphere.)

And once you have written a book from the deeper Self ~ perhaps with my guidance, either directly or by using my book, Starting Your Book [see "Bookstore" page] ~ it’s time to bring your treasures into the world ... a world that your book has helped to remake.

Copyright © 2007 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

 

 

3. ARTICLE

The “Deeper Self” Book in the Marketplace:
Who You Are & What You Value Makes a Difference

Judging from the news about the marketplace, it might seem that the deeper Self doesn’t have much of a place there. Although some wonderful books are of course being published, the publishing industry has suffered from the same corporate takeovers as other powerful systems. While there are many, many publishers around, many of them small- to medium-sized, there are now only six major publishers, all owned by corporate dynasties. The 3 P’s are paramount: Promotion, Profitability, and Platform. Authors now have to guarantee a track record of credibility in their book proposals ~ a huge mailing list, workshops, contacts in many lands, etc. ~ so that publishers are even willing to publish their books.

It used to be that publishing was considered “a gentleman’s profession,” and that good writing and esthetic concerns were mostly all a writer needed. This was in the days of the legendary Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins, who took then-unknown writers such as Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald under his kindly wing, accepting, for example, overflowing cartons of manuscripts from Wolfe and personally paring them down into the masterpieces Wolfe has left behind (Look Homeward, Angel, and more).

Our time ~ although certainly also filled with some wonderful books ~ has shifted its values. The “bottom line” has gotten pretty low. There is a growing tendency in popular culture to trivialize book writing and make it seem like it should only serve the marketplace, as the following reveals:

* From a writing coach: “I don’t even let my clients start their books until they know what publishers are buying. Then they can write what will sell, and be assured of publication.”


* From a PR consultant, writing about writers promoting their books: “It doesn’t matter if your book is well written. You can always hire a good writer to do it for you. What you really have to have is charisma.”


* And from a newsletter on self-publishing (a good one, too): “You have heard of paint-by-the-numbers. This system in a binder shows you how to WRITE-by-the-numbers. [You will be supplied] with a 33-page book-writing template in a 3-ring binder. You just fill in the blanks.”

This, as my father used to say, is “putting the cart before the horse.”

But the good news is that, rather than despairing that you have no choice but to follow the marketplace’s view of what sells, you can raise the bar to match what you write and who you are. If you stay true to what’s in you, and follow the unfolding wisdom in your heart (and learn some writing-craft, if need be), your book will pave its own way. The spirit that called you to write your book is not finished with you just because the publishing marketplace is in a certain state at the moment.

If you follow your heart, guidance will come to you from within. Doors will open. Red carpets may unfurl at your feet. The goal you thought you had in the beginning may evolve into something much vaster and higher. The publisher of your dreams may find you. Or you may decide to publish your book yourself. If you stay tuned to what’s inside you, that which called you will guide you all the way through the process. And you will succeed beyond your deepest dreams in touching the lives of people who will take your book into their lives and be forever transformed.

So no matter what kinds of discouragement you may read about or encounter in the marketplace, remember that what called your book into being is still there to guide and serve you. And remember, too, that no one really knows what the public will buy ahead of time. Trends are guesses, based on what came before. The more you as a reader and book-buyer indicate your preference for books written from the deeper Self, the more you become instrumental in shifting the balance towards a readership of deep books. You can do this by:

Reading them.

Contacting the authors to tell you how you were affected by their books. (You can write to the author c/o the publisher, and they will forward your letter.)

Contacting the publisher to tell them how much you value a certain book. (This builds a “good rep” for the book, which the publisher takes seriously.)

Asking your local bookstore to stock the book. (This indicates the presence of potential buyers for the book.)

Telling your friends to buy the book! (Word of mouth is the surest sales tool.)

My point is that no matter what state the publishing industry is currently in, you can have a hand in how it functions. You can help raise the standards of what people want to read. And you can help develop a favorable climate for the publication and eager reception of your own book, once it is completed and ready to be sent, with great love and winged communication, out into the world. It’s all within you.

Copyright © 2007 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.



4. What Would You Like to Know About Writing a Book? Questions & Answers

In the last issue, I invited questions from you, the readers. I received two very interesting responses. Perhaps they will stimulate your own questions for me to address in future newsletters.

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.? If I don’t know the answer(s) I’ll do my best to find out. Email me and make it clear in the heading that this is a Newsletter Question.


The questions and my responses follow. I hope they are meaningful to you, too.

How to Keep the Creativity Flowing


From Lauren Jonik:


Hi Naomi,


I really enjoyed the latest issue of the newsletter—thanks very much for sharing your wisdom. I have a question for the newsletter.

Lately, I've been in an intensely creative phase where everything is inspiring. What can I do to ensure that I remain in the flow of this kind of energy and stay open to creating while remaining detached from the outcomes?


Thanks!

Best,
Lauren Jonik


And my response:


Dear Lauren,


What a wonderful situation to be in! How inspiring for you, and probably for all of us reading this. I’ll attempt to say something about your question that’s helpful. I’m sure it’s only part of the story.

My belief is that creativity is natural and foundational. It’s what we’re born into, what we’re formed of. The urge to create comes to us when we’re especially attuned to it—not inwardly cluttered by “to-do” lists and worrying (even then, it can break through). It is not the province of famous artists, only, but a realm of Being that we all are called from, sometimes. It’s been said that creativity is what makes us “like God,” as in the Old Testament’s declaration, “[Humans] are formed in God’s image.”


Given the likelihood that creativity is natural, it still needs to be cultivated. So how to keep it alive and thrumming?

* Value it. Value it in all its aspects. If you’re writing a book, a poem, a song…if you’re painting a picture … if you’re making a good meal, wrapping a gift beautifully, and so on…give thanks to the Source of Creation for pouring its wish to manifest through you.


*  Value your part in it. If you’re tempted to downplay your own part in creation—e.g., “I’m not good enough/talented enough/smart enough, and so on”—become aware of that and STOP. Recognize that you are the very instrument of Creation. Without your willing presence, it could never take place in this way. I have two dulcimers, simple, lovely stringed instruments; and though both are tuned to the same pitch, each one has its own sound. Acknowledge the preciousness of your own sound.


*  Recognize that creativity has its ebbs and flows, and flow with that. Land that is constantly farmed gets depleted, and must rest; must have amendments put back in, crops plowed back under to enrich the soil. If you have put out a lot of energy, creating, remember that you will need to replenish yourself. You are not only a creator, you are a whole human being. Your body, your mind, your heart, soul, and spirit need care. Sometimes the downtime of “doing nothing” eventually results in the most inspired creations, which come when they are ready.


* Get support, when needed. The idea of the isolated artist has hopefully passed into past-history. We may seemingly create out of a vacuum, but we don’t live in one. Sometimes it makes a large difference to have a trusted friend(s) with whom to share your process of creation (someone who has some understanding of the creative process, ideally), or even to keep a separate “creative-process journal” in which to record your ideas, feelings, insights, discouragements, and so on about your creation.


* Keep it alive. Even when you’re not actively creating, keep your creations alive by attending to them with gratitude in your thoughts. Bless them, whatever stage they are at. Don’t despair, don’t pull up the new shoots to see if they’re really growing, don’t tell yourself untrue things like “Maybe I’m not so creative,” etc. Bless your creations and bless the Source from which they come, as you would bless your children even if out of your sight. Keep the love-link alive, and when it’s time, a new surge of creative juice will arise.


* Bless Creation itself. Walking in nature, thank the trees, the grass, the hills, the sky, and what brought all this into being. Be grateful for your amazing existence on the Earth, for exactly who you are. Be open and filled with wonder at how Creation approaches you in manifold ways. As you nurture this relationship, creativity will always be just a breath away.


I hope this has been useful. I invite you to let me know.

Warmly,

Naomi

"Questions on Self-Publishing"


From Barb Techel:


Dear Naomi,

I am self-publishing my book and part of that reason is what so hit home with me in what you wrote about in your [September] newsletter:

"I believe we are all suffering from an overly "product" orientation…. 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."

My writing a book is not about a "product," it's about an emotional journey with my dog who became paralyzed almost two years ago... it is about touching others lives (especially children) and showing them, by Frankie's example (my dog) that you can overcome any challenge you may have. I truly believe I have been called to share this message. I decided to self-publish because I couldn't bear the thought of a publisher possibly telling me my story was not right for the world. I believe my story will touch who it is meant to touch and my faith has guided me in writing this book and an inner knowing I have to share our story.


I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on self-publishing. It has been a real learning curve for me, but I'm figuring it out. Especially for a children's book, I still question at what point I should have brought in an illustrator. My text has been edited and finished for quite sometime and now the illustrator is doing the illustrations for the whole book. I wonder if I should have brought her in earlier.

Also maybe tips on what to look for in a printer.... maybe ideas on marketing, etc.
So much I have read is really about selling to non-book stores. I love that idea, because you can get to the heart of your book through other venues, instead of just being another book on a bookshelf.… Opportunities to speak and share my story is what I am excited about...especially with children. My favorite thing when my nieces and nephews were young, was to read to them... now they are older, but with my book I can take it to schools and read to oodles of children... I can hardly wait!

Warmly,

Barbara Techel

P.S. Watch for my children's book to be released fall 2007 "Frankie, The Story of A Dog Who Rolls through Life On Tires" by Barbara Gail Techel Website: http://www.joyfulpaws.com Blog: http://www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com

 

And my response:

Hi Barb,


It’s wonderful that you’ve written a children’s book and decided to self-publish it, and that you already know—and are excited about—ways to get the book “out there” beyond bookstore sales alone. I think you’re exactly on target to stay tuned to the aspects you love—what caused you to write the book in the first place—and see how you can carry that same enthusiasm out into the world, such as reading your book to schoolchildren.


(a) More Marketing Tips
* Telling parents and teachers about your book might also be a good way to find people and places to share the book. Asking them for ideas and referrals is a legitimate request, and they may actually be excited to help promote a writer’s book. (Some people are actually thrilled by the idea of helping a writer!!)

* Check out Francine Silverman’s “Book Promotion Newsletter” (www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com, email: franalive@optonline.net ), which is primarily contributed to by real authors with real stories about their book-promotion. (Other contributors include consultants, occasionally agents.) It has some very good, innovative ideas. An annual subscription costs under $10.

* For self-publishing, the “guru” of the genre seems to be Dan Poynter, who has a free newsletter you can subscribe to. (He of course offers items for sale, there.) Website is http://ParaPublishing.com, email is DanPoynter@ParaPublishing.com. He lists many tips, pieces of valuable information, and also has lists of printers, designers, etc. Marketing is only one of the things he addresses.


* Given the subject of your book, I would suggest perhaps contacting veterinarians (they might function as your “bookstore”—you could give them a percentage for displaying and selling your book). You could also put small ads in dog-centered magazines (in my area, there’s one called Bark). You might also consider small ads in child-centered magazines. The principle is to think of who might be apt to be interested in such a book—the “market”—and then brainstorm where you might locate people in this market. This is an interesting process that opens doors in your mind, and in the actual world.

(b) "When Should You Bring in an Illustrator?"
I don’t know if there’s any rule of thumb on this. I think it really depends on whether you want to collaborate with the illustrator ~ whether from the outside or midway ~ or whether you want to write exactly what you want to write, and find an illustrator who can translate your story into the kind of illustrations that you feel match its nature. My former mother-in-law, who wrote a series of children’s books for Scholastic Books, had an excellent working relationship with her illustrator, who lived out of state. They used to send their respective drafts to each other in the mail, back and forth, playing off each other’s ideas. That was a real collaboration, not a “work for hire.”So this answer addresses the “working-together process” aspect.

If you’re talking about the timing of it, you might start looking for an artist while you’re still writing. It’s unlikely that s/he would begin the actual artwork until your story is finished, but you certainly could spend some time, alongside your writing time, seeking out illustrators and asking to look at their portfolios (usually, these are now on their websites).

Once you’ve located the illustrator of choice, then you can give him/her a brief account of the story so they can begin to think about how to illustrate it. In some cases, it might be possible for the artist to start making preliminary sketches while you’re still writing, but to me it seems best to wait for the art to begin until you have down on paper at least a revised draft of the story. Because a good illustrator will be sensitive not just to the plot, but to the texture of the story ~ the atmosphere, the quality of feeling. Your chosen words are a good part of what will communicate this to the artist (in addition to your description of what you want, e.g., “lively…sad… uplifting… suspicious… tender….” etc.).

(c) "What About Printing?"

  • As I mentioned above under “Marketing,” Dan Poynter has material about printing in the form of a “specialized InfoKit,” which you can get for free by going to http://parapub.com/sites/para/resources/infokit.cfm.
  • A very helpful all-around book for self-publishers, Peter Bowerman’s The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living lists printers for short runs and long runs on page 250-251 of his book ($19.95, available from www.wellfedsp.com).
  • You can simply Google “Printers, self-publishing,” and evaluate what comes up.
  • There are POD (Print on Demand) publishers that enable you to print exactly as many or few books as you want, such as www.lulu.com and www.cafepress.com. They don’t design, edit, etc. the book, simply print it, and you don’t have to pay anything up front. They make their money by taking a certain amount per book printed. However, since you get to set the price of the book, you can decide how much you want to receive. They mail the book to you or your customers directly, and pay you your portion of the sales quarterly (Lulu) or monthly (Café Press). However, if you’re interested, go to their websites and make sure they can handle illustrations and not just b&w text.
  • If, like me, you are a lover of the hands-on process, once your book is ready to be printed, you can actually bind it yourself. I found a wonderful, inexpensive book-binding machine from Gigabooks, and owner Chet Novicki is wonderfully helpful and encouraging. If you have an original printout of your book (words and illustrations), and a cover with a spine, too, you can use photocopy machines to make your copies and bind them with the Gigabooks binding machine. There’s a book to teach you how. www.gigabooks.net. Email: chet300@comcast.net.

I hope some of these are helpful enough to use directly, or at least point you in a direction where what you need shows up. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your book soon.

Warmly,

Naomi

 

 

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