Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blooming: Soul

Hi folks, this week I'm going to talk about another piece of the pre-writing journey, and I'm calling it this piece -- soul. I've been thinking about how to communicate this idea all week. Soul isn't a tangible thing. It's very nature is illusive. Soul is the spiritual or the immaterial part of us infused into our book; it is the essence of our identity. 

You must nurture the soul because writing a meaningful book is all about chipping a corner off of that soul and letting it go forever. This process is painful, makes you vulnerable and in the end is an unfathomable mystery. I'm going to offer some activities that have helped me on my journey.

Quiet:  We live in a busy world but books need quiet to be spring out of the good ground of you.  Retreat. Turn everything off and take a weekend away from all your responsibilities. Move away from the books, the busy, and, probably  hardest of all, your own thoughts. No writing. No internal dialogue. No praying. Be still. Be silent. Focus on breathing. That is the whole goal. Once you understand quiet, put some purposefully quiet space into your life each day.

Improvement: Do something that will make you a better person. This is an intensely personal journey. Only you know what will improve you. It doesn't matter what. Talk to your neighbor. Plant some tulips. Stop a bad habit. Start a good one. Be better.  Here is a little talk by A. J. Jacobs, "How healthy living nearly killed me", that might give you a smile.

Generosity: Volunteer time to someone or something. I take Mother Teresa as my spiritual guide on this one.  Her voice whispers inside me all the time, you can only do small things with great love. There is so much need in the world, ask yourself what grieves you. What is one thing that you can do? Do it. Sacha Dichten 's talk on generosity might inform you too.

Forgiveness: This is about dealing with the emotional baggage that you are carrying. You must put down those dang bags to write that book. Let go of the faults of other. Embrace the chiaroscuro of the world.Don't twist every event to your grudge agenda. Seek to lose the grudge. I like this essay by Alexander Pope -- An Essay on Criticism. To err is human, to forgive divine.

Wander:  Inward or out, start making plans to go to that undiscovered country. Get a passport. Put pennies in jar. Seek your muse. Find faith.  Whatever journey is calling you, start taking steps.  I find that writers need to wander more than folks. Take time to go with no agenda in hand. Where does your heart take you?

Confidence:  This idea is an extension of the faith and trust.  Cultivate it. You must feel the book in your hands. The heft of it. Become aware of what you do well and don't dwell on your faults. Stop criticizing yourself  inwardly and to others. Whisper the good things you want. Write them down. Take a month and write down every good thing you have done each day that.  I like this talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about your genius. Grow confidence.

This is some of the stuff I need to create my master works. I hope something here has spoken to you.  I will be back next week for a month of musing about story structure.

Here is this week's doodle: Daylily.

I will end up with a quote for your pocket.
All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. Blaise Pascal


Vijaya said...

A beautiful post, Molly. Yes, too often we spend precious hours on the material, when the immaterial is ignored. Thank you for these lovely reminders to nurture the soul.

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks, Vijaya. Wish we could have tea and bring in some pages for critique.

Candilynn Fite said...

Thank you Molly for this inspiring post. I watched Elizabeth Gilbert on TED. Many things resonated with me. I've seen her interview before, but today, it touched me in a new way. Thank you. May your writing find its soul. :)

MollyMom103 said...

I'm a big fan of EG on ted. Thank you, Candi. I'm searching. M.