People have often asked me about my writing process and how do I go about writing my stories.
My creativity arises from feelings. At first, I play with thoughts and ideas with no worries for practical… for the pure joy and exploration of it. And I do this because it unlocks doorways within my imagination that are keys to deeper concepts. It is easy to get stuck in the realm of ideas and thoughts that turn in on themselves as worry or regrets.
Imagination is heart centered action… and by heart centered, I do not mean sugary sweet romantic or even superficial activities … Creation comes from something beyond the brain/ rational mind… it come from dreams, listening, silence and awareness. It comes from deep inside the human psyche.
One reader asked me “Who thinks this way?” Another reader described my second book as ‘mind bending.’ Some of a more logical have asked me “Why write at all? Why not focus my energy on really helping people instead of such fantasy? But for me, imagination is an organic component of human existence.
My process begins with:
When I ALLOW myself to relax, daydream, conceptualize, float, appreciate… to honor that part of myself that desires meaningful connections over noise and clutter, I can more easily return to the mundane tasks of daily life.
When I LISTEN – tune into nature, rhythms of life, cycles of seasons and natural ebb and flows… Tune into meaning beyond/behind words -intention and emotions that are the actual essence of any communication, I can more easily tune in to the miracles of nature that shares the same space.
The third aspect is to CONNECT, which also usually means to change my mindset and shake things up! – This sometimes involves travel for my research, but it also means going out into nature… just stepping outside and looking up to watch clouds for a moment or saying hello to the plants in my back yard… This is a direct gateway to that part of myself that is aware of the interconnectedness of all creation… which I am part of! My writing is a product of, indeed a reflection of, the workings of inner life, which is neither linear of rational… and yet… it is burgeoning with possibilities.
Sticking with the Rule of Threes,
I also break down my process of writing into three-fold.
TRAVEL – which shakes up my state of mind… change of scenery, be it across town or across the pond… It is there that I experience the different atmosphere and do my best to be aware of the past of a place as well as the present. Then I return to my computer and books for chasing rabbit trails in my research .
IMAGINATION / dreams/ meditations – provide leads for plot lines and character building. It is here that I have made my most interesting finds where I have connects disparate dots. For instance… 1296 – King Charles & Dante were not originally part of my story line, but with research I ran across this historic connection to Mysticism.
Then the less glamorous part begins… SHOWING UP to do the linear mental work and focusing on details, cleaning up the manuscript and editing. It is here that I formulate and question many aspects of the material… The crafting of the story must be grounded and tested. Showing up also means that I embrace CHANGE and do my best to navigate the rapids of goodness.
Now, at a physical level, the body often rebels from waking to record dreams or making cold calls in marketing when I would rather be playing with my granddaughters. Time races forward as my rational mind seeks to make sense of images & impressions trying to break through in the throws of dealing with the demands of mundane tasks.
Like Thoreau, I look to nature for accessing my imagination – breathing in fresh air – I only need to step outside momentarily and look to the sky to connect with the stars I cannot see in daylight, but I can feel their presence. A silent salute to a garden bush or a short walk across my lawn, I can instantly remember that we are all made of the same elements that form the universe. To listen to the rain, thunder and even to how the plant respond to their environment may sound trite, and yet when I take time to engage, it pays off bountifully. It is these kinds of feelings that generate the ideas.
Living in the moment still seems radical after all these years since the revolutions of the ’70’s, but it is FOUNDATIONAL to imaginative writing. My underlying intention of my writing is to share what I have learned through more than 30 years of my personal practices in mediation. And through it all, it has helped be become more and more grounded in the practical aspects of life and appreciative of the abundance available to humanity if we can be wise stewards of this earth.
As Ram Das taught…to be here and now makes it much easier to also be in the 13th century and see patterns in common. It is the similar feelings shared by humanity in both time periods that give meaning to book like mine… to find the theme in common of self sovereignty. Being in the ever present moment is not merely a function of time, but, more importantly of awareness…. of all the things we’ve been speaking of… of being just as aware of our inner emotional dialogs , driven by fears from past traumas and hopes for future events, so I can bring my attention fully to focus on any task at hand. And doing so, I can more fully take action from conscious intentions and observe the world around me with less judgement of others… which has been huge lesson for me.
My books are metaphors for modern times – OUR times – I write about similarities of patterns repeating, unfolding NOW from the turn of the 14th century. Such as
- the blossoming of mysticism, rise of new merchant class)
- destabilization of institution’s, the church (loss of holy land, unrest and rebellions, end of dynasties, Fall of the Templars, )
- Patriarchal power seizures ( inquisitions, rise of monarch consolidations throughout Europe, extremes taxations)
- crisis of faith & rebellions
- Innovations in technology and architecture
- War, famine, pandemic diseases, extreme want
Most writers agree that perspective is queen, because no writer is without perspective. It is fundamental to the sensory world as well as the writer’s intention. I would say that imagination is the faculty of perceiving with an integrated mind and heart. The middle road is needed for coherence and I admit to pushing that boundary not so much to the right or left, but to the beyond. Hence the term ‘mind-bending.’ But I do this on purpose to offer an experience of new possibilities and even probabilities.
I will leave you with this final thought…
To create any brighter future requires more than faith, or even actions.
It requires imagination to envision new possibilities,
and to manifest new ways of living.
FEELINGS + CHANGE + IMAGINATION facilitates TRANSFORMATION.
THESE THREE exist all together, in the same time & space,
Not so much linear, as quantum… where many things can be true at the same time!
Now, buckle your seat belt, Linda…the next book is on its way!