The Writing Process
This book was born out of a series of articles I wrote for Suite101, after I had published my novel The Cloths of Heaven as a Print on Demand paperback with iuniverse.com. I think the fact that I had actually managed to complete this novel, edit it and be sufficiently convinced of its readability and appeal as to go so far as to publish it, was of such amazement to me, that I wanted to share the experience with others. You see, before holding my paperback in my hands, before selling it to both people in my immediate circle and to those in my wider, cyber circle, I had always imagined a published writer to belong to a species of a superior sort. Now that I belonged to that elite group, the published author, and knowing how ordinary I really am, I knew I had to encourage all you other, ordinary people with big dreams and stories to tell, to believe in those dreams and believe in yourself, and just do it!
But this is a ‘how to’ book of a different kind. In it I talk about the deeper process involved in writing meaningful fiction. Not that I avoid the mechanics of writing and grammar, but at every step along the way, the mechanics will be meshed with a spiritual, emotional and mental stimulation and purity, because I know that these are equally important when searching for the perfect way to express yourself. My motto is and always will be that the best writing comes from the heart and the soul. The pen, (or wordprocessor) is just the tool the soul uses to communicate with the outside world.
My journey as a writer was and is connected to my deeper, spiritual journey and it would be impossible for me to continue along one and not the other. When I began to write, many years ago now, it was to make sense of the cacophony of mixed up thoughts screaming inside my head, and to still the restlessness that often overwhelmed me. I wrote, cleared my mind, made room for growth. And in this phase I began to read those whose words and ideas have carried me further than I would ever imagined possible. Writers like Neal Donald Walsch, Gary Zukav and Eckhart Tolle, reflected my journey in their writings, became my mentors. These were my spiritual mentors. And before them, I had already been fascinated by James Redfield, and his Celestine Prophecy. Alongside them, I read a broad selection of ‘how to’ books on writing, the most significant of which have to be Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and many others. What repeatedly came to mind, was this undeniable connection between emotional courage, and autonomy and theability to write Great Fiction. To take that leap out of the rhealms of the banal demands an enormous faith in self, and the ability to face up to the inner voices of sensorship and criticism, and to cast them aside.
And of course, no education would be complete without being aware of one’s contemporaries. And those I would like to thank here, have to be Andre Dubus III, Janet Fitch, and of late Alice Sebold. These writers particularly streched my imagination and suspended reality for me, taking me to magnificent places. These writers more than any other, were doing what I strive to do – they dared go to the deepest place within themselves. They were the risk takers, the autonomous few.
The result is this book, which, I hope, will help you to integrate all facets of your personality, and guide you along your journey. Welcome aboard.