Tapping into the Energy of Your Writing
“If you surrender to your imagination, the story will write itself.”
~ T.N. Suarez
It’s not often that many of us who sit down to write a book, a blog, or even a course stop to consider that each of our creations have an energy of its own.
And yet, they do.
I’ve been aware of this for much of the last decade, even with my client projects. I’d sit down to work on their chapters or other writing, and before long I’d sense a connection to the Divine and became enveloped in a space where the words flow freely.
For the past year or so, I’ve been consciously taking several moments before I work with a specific project to meditate and nurture the relationship with the energy of that project. It’s changed the way I write, or perhaps better said, I trust what I write is what needs to be written, without question.
Many of us were taught to mind map and then outline our projects, and I acknowledge that it’s a good idea to have an idea of where we want to take our writing. Prewriting and creating a strategy is vital to tame the monsters of overwhelm and doubt.
But, we also must leave room for discovery.
In The Light We Carry, Michele Obama described writing as a way to discover more about ourselves. Even thought professional writers come to the table with a certain amount of knowledge about a topic, we often uncover hidden truths buried deep within that goes beyond knowledge to wisdom. When I wrote On the Mother Lagoon: Fly Fishing and the Spiritual Journey, I was at the time a US Coast Guard Captain and fly-fishing guide, and the book chronicles my journey into the world of fly fishing. Yet, I unveiled more about my inner journey than I did the adventure of fly fishing.
And I’d like to say there’s more…
When we think about developing a relationship with our projects, they demand that we listen and respond, not with our own agenda in mind, but with curiosity. What’s being asked of me today as I sit down and write? is a question I often ask myself as I settle down with my laptop.
There have been two times in my writing career, long before I realized that our creative projects have an energy of their own and that we are in relationship with them, that I was completely floored by what wanted to come through me. One was a date-rape scene in a novel (that I lost in a computer upgrade). Another was a chapter in On the Mother Lagoon, about my vision of Jesus and Mary while receiving a Reiki session. The book had felt unfinished, and my logical mind couldn’t figurer out what was missing. Then in meditation, I was shown what needed to be written – actually better said, what I was being asked to write. I remember looking up at the ceiling in my office and saying, “You’re kidding, right?” It wasn’t a joke. I wrote what I was asked to write, and then sent the manuscript to my publisher.
In my three-decade career as a writer and editor, and two decades as a literary midwife (a/k/a writing coach and developmental editor), I’ve never seen a project turn out exactly as we plan. I often witness moments of “primary research” where life provides us with the opportunity to live through a situation that then becomes material for a book. And the only way we can write about it, is by living through it and then taking a step back to gain a different perspective.
When we surrender to the relationship with our creative projects, much of the angst that spawns writer’s block, procrastination, and worry about what others will think, is dissolved. We no longer feel the responsibility to “get it right,” as we come to know and trust that what we write is what is being asked of us.
I recently was speaking with a colleague about her project at the beginning of one of the writing circles I hold each week, and it came to me that this approach takes into account that we don’t know everything. That while we would love to have control over the outcome of our creative projects, we often don’t have a clue as to what impact they might have upon a person’s life – or many people’s lives. All we really can know is that an idea wants to be born through us. Our job is to make space for that birth.
Life is filled with living in the unknown, and our writing projects are no different.
So the next time you sit down to write, even an email, a letter of interest, a social media post, or a chapter in your book, take a moment to pause. Close your eyes and sense the essence of that piece that wants to be written through you, and ask, “How might I serve you today? What do you want to write through me?”
Then open your eyes, place your fingers on the keyboard, and listen. Your fingers will likely glide over the keys with more ease than you ever expected.
#writingwisdomwednesday #writingtips #discovery #trust #surrender