As promised, and as much requested, I’m using today’s blog post to give you a peek into the depths of my creative mind, a weird and wonderful and sometimes scary place, where blog posts such as these, as well as my book come from. In short, I’m going to be sharing with you just how exactly I wrote my book. Now, for you fellow creative geniuses (aren’t we all??), I just want to add one disclaimer: I’m weird. As in “not normal” (I do not see this as a bad thing; in fact, I think we’re all secretly and wonderfully weird deep down inside. Let’s just own it, people). I don’t necessarily do things the way other people do them. My process of writing, which can be transferred to the process of creating anything, really, is MY process. It may not be yours. So if the details of how I do things doesn’t line up with how you do them, don’t freak out and declare yourself to be an artistic failure, ok? Think of it this way: if a weirdo like me can do it, so can you. Yes, you can. Yes, you freaking can! Stop arguing with me, dammit.
How I learned to write
I know that I’m a pretty decent writer. It’s one of those skills that I’ve always gotten positive feedback on, ever since I can remember. That’s because I don’t just write, I AM a writer (and yes, I’m well aware of how pretentious this sounds. I, and my black turtleneck sweater don’t care). As soon as I was able for form sentences on a page, I began to write stories. In fact, when my mom wanted to keep me quiet for a while, which happened frequently (I can’t imagine why…), she’d start me off with one sentence. That’s all I needed. I’d run to my room, sit at my little desk, and turn that sentence into a full blown story that spanned at least three pages (of a small, pocket notebook. Don’t judge, I was, like, 7). I couldn’t really help myself. Writing was a way in which I could express myself. I loved words. I could shape them into the most interesting and wonderful combinations. And if I could make people laugh, to boot, I was in heaven. I remember being about 7 or 8 and writing a poem that had the whole family in stitches. It’s still one of the proudest moments of my life.
I was spawned by a writer. My mom also has “the gift” and the inclination. So maybe, it’s genetic (it’s not). In any case, I was encouraged to keep on scribbling from a very early age, but it wasn’t something I did because it was suggested. Like I said, it just happened naturally. So, I did have a bit of a leg up in the whole “learning to be a writer” category. But so does everyone, in their own way. Artist friends tell me that they doodled on every piece of paper and blank surface they could find as soon as they learned to hold a crayon. Musician friends picked up an instrument or began singing early on in life. The creative expression just flows out of us in some way or another. It’s not work. It’s just pure, unadulterated pleasure. And if we’re lucky enough to be encouraged to keep going, without any judgment of how good the end product has to be, our skill level will develop naturally.
They say that it takes 10.000 hours to master any skill. When people hear that, they often think “Oh crap. Now I have to go out and practice this thing I want to learn for 10.000 freaking hours.” And yeah… I suppose you could try to do that, but honestly, there’s an easier way. You see, when you love to do something, when you have a natural talent for, or inclination to do something, you’ll do a lot of it automatically. You won’t be able to help yourself. This doesn’t just apply to children, either. You’ll read all you can about it, you might take classes, and you’ll “practice” constantly. In this way, you hit those 10.000 hours without even trying. Sure, you might be able to become a master at something by slaving away for 10.000 hours, but for me, the key message is that we all put those ten thousand hours quite naturally into something.
You don’t have to master it
Also, I don’t believe we have to “master” anything in order to be able to enjoy it and bring benefit to others. The idea that you have to be a total expert at writing or painting or acting, for example, before you’re able to go out and DO it, keeps more people from realizing their creative dreams than almost any other belief. “I’m not good enough yet”, they’ll tell themselves. Who says? If you’re inspired to run through the streets, while wearing a batman suit with a superman cape, singing the Star Wars theme, go for it. Your sheer joy at doing so will inspire those around you (who are willing to be inspired). Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example:
In 2013, a young man named Tommy Franklin appeared on Australia’s Got Talent. His talent? He danced. He’s not a professional dancer. In fact, you’re probably a better dancer than he is. He just loves to dance and when he does, he exudes absolute joy. Now, you might think that he was booed off the stage. After all, joy isn’t a talent, is it? Well, you’d be wrong. So. Freaking. Wrong. Tommy went all the way to the Finals and ended up coming in 9th. Even though he wasn’t “technically” perfect, or anywhere near that, so many people simply allowed themselves to be infected by his awesomeness, that they couldn’t wait to see him again. If you’d like a taste as well, check out his first audition. I love this guy!
The way to get better at anything is to just DO it. I got better at writing, because I wrote. A lot. I got even better at it once I started publishing my writing and letting others read it. I didn’t go from nothing, nothing, nothing to suddenly: book.
And I didn’t get to the point of being able to write a book by simply journaling for myself. Writing for others and writing in secret are two different things. If you want to be a writer (or dancer, or artist, or whatever), go out and write (or dance, paint, etc.). You have to actually put yourself out there. This isn’t about getting feedback (what others think of your work really doesn’t matter). It’s about allowing it to be a co-creation.
Your “audience” is creating with you!
You see, when you put anything out into the world that people are going to see or read or hear, the experience they have with that creation is THEIR manifestation. So, as you become aligned with your vision, as you manifest what you want, you can become part of their manifestation. You don’t have to do this, you have no obligation to do so, but when you do something that feels good and benefits others, it’s as though you’ve volunteered to participate in their process. If you don’t, someone else will.
But, even though you’re not here to benefit them, and you don’t have to write for them (and you shouldn’t. Write for yourself), you can definitely let their participation take you further. When others ask for something that you volunteer to bring through, it helps you evolve further. Their questions will help you generate the answers. Their focus on what you are doing can “amp up” the energy of what you are doing. This is what co-creation is – two or more people participating in the same manifestation, and each getting their own, unique benefit from it. Having said that, however, you can’t really focus too much on what other people are going to do with this manifestation.
Not everyone has to love what you do
No matter what it is that you’re creating, there are going to be people who have no interest in it. There are going to be people who hate what you do. And there are going to be people who are overjoyed at what you’re doing. Most artists will put almost all of their focus on the second group. “What if they hate me?”, they’ll ask. “What if I get trolled on Youtube? What if the villagers unite and come after me with pitchforks?”
But when you understand that there are always going to be these three groups of people, those who don’t care, those who are negatively triggered by you and those who love you, you can deliberately put your focus on the third group. When you’re no longer afraid of those who don’t resonate with what you’re doing in a positive way (who cares if someone doesn’t like what you do? What about those who do?), when you no longer need EVERYONE to love you, you can attract only those who are willing to play with you on your terms.
Let’s say that you’re at the beach and you hear a great song that makes you want to dance. If you wait for others to start dancing so that you can give yourself permission to dance, too, you’re probably not going to get to dance. But, if you simply start bopping to the music, others who also love that song and love to dance will join you. They’ll be inspired by you. They may not even have consciously realized that they wanted to dance in that moment, but your joyous booty shaking will make them aware of it. Will everyone want to dance with you? Nope. But so what? You’re not dancing for them. You’re dancing because you want to dance, period.
So, write because you want to write. Write what YOU want to write, what inspires you, what feels awesome to you. Then, let those who already share that same vibration find you. As long as you don’t NEED them to, they will. They have to. It’s LAW.
Ok, but how did you write the book?
Now, you may be wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about the concept of mastery and other people. Well, it’s because these beliefs tend to get in the way of the creative process. They did for me and pretty much everyone I know. So, the pre-requisite to being able to joyfully create what you want, is that you give yourself permission to do so, without focusing on a negative outcome. Needing to be perfect, will shut you down. Worrying about what others will think of you, will do the same. When you get into the state of flow, when you do something just for the joy of it, when you are the only one that needs to give yourself permission to do something and then you do that, you’ll get into “the zone” where creative genius lives.
I’ve been writing all my life, and yet I’ve never once encountered writer’s block. This isn’t because I’m special in some way, I’ve simply gotten very good at getting into that state of flow, and I refuse to write when I’m not (which is what writer’s block is – trying to write when you’re not in a state of flow). This has effed up my blog posting schedule at times, but so what? Would I rather publish “late” than put out quality content that inspires me and others? Nope. Not even once.
The mindset with which you approach your writing is 99% of the “work”. When you take the pressure off, you allow the creativity to flow. Suddenly, you don’t have to force yourself to write (I never do). You’re inspired to do so. It’s pretty much effortless. Getting into this mindset, IS most of the process. But of course, I’m not going to skimp out and keep the other 1% to myself. However, please don’t look at the “actions” I took as my journey. Mostly, what I’m about to describe to you is what I did to continue to clean up my vibration and get into that state of flow.
The birthing of a book
First of all, I have to acknowledge that this book (which comes out on July 27th, by the way. Yay!) was being written for years, well before I ever sat down to actually put words on a page. Every experience of my life, every issue I cleared and every coaching session I had helped me formulate my message. They all helped me to become who I am right now, and writing this book really had much more to do with getting up to speed with that version of myself than anything else. That being said, as soon as I had the idea to actually write the book (about 5 years ago), I began to visualize what I wanted.
I held the vision of a book, the content of which I couldn’t yet define, that really helped people. I saw people, who were ready to receive its message and implement it, joyfully reading away. I saw them laughing out loud in places. I saw them having many “aha” moments. I saw myself being interviewed for the book, reaching hundreds of thousands and even millions of people. This vision has evolved over time. As I spent time focusing on it, it became bigger, better, clearer and more and more awesome. I gave all my energy to the idea that it not only could happen, but totally would. I didn’t know when I would write it, and the few times I tried to control the timing, it didn’t work. I released the worry that came up that just because I wasn’t inspired to actually write the damn thing in this moment, that I might never be. I resisted the urge to force myself to write. I made peace with the perfect timing of all manifestations. In hindsight, of course, it’s easy to see that I wasn’t ready to write the book until I was. It’s also easy to see how I released the resistance I had to the book’s energy as I went down that path. Focusing on my vision activated the frequency of what I wanted, and one by one, the obstacles that were in the way of that popped up. Many of those beliefs had to do with the mindset I’ve already described.
When I did actually sit down to write the book, it came out fast. I wrote the book in a month (while coaching full time, something that has allowed me to decide that I’d prefer to take a month off while writing. There’s always next time…). Again, the book was pretty much fully formed in its energy state by then; all I had to do was bring it into the physical. Even so, there was still some upleveling to be done; I had to become a full match to the book, and a lot of this happened while I was writing.
Now, as I said, my writing process is MINE and it may be different from yours. I don’t ever really plan out what I’m going to say, other than having a very general idea of the message. I don’t know how long a blog post is going to be or what exactly I’ll delve into. I get into a state of flow and it comes. I did the same with this book. I had a very rough outline, which I sketched out months before in a moment of inspiration, but it was really just a list with a few notes, which helped to keep me focused. The book then flowed organically. I wrote what I wanted to write, as I wanted to write it. I didn’t stick to any plan, and didn’t even consciously control what needed to be included. Every time I tried, the flow slowed and I stopped writing for the day. It was, in a sense, more like taking dictation. I simply (easier said than done!) had to trust the book, had to trust myself to bring it through, and get out of the way.
The energy of the book was bigger than I had expected it to be. I often ended up exhausted at the end of a writing day. It kind of physically kicked my ass. I enjoyed it, but it was definitely a major growth experience for me. I had to level up a bit more to allow that much energy to flow. I didn’t actually completely align with it all until recently. I had to let go of the idea that not being able to write every day would somehow interfere with the book’s completion. I became aware that even if I hadn’t been coaching full time, I still wouldn’t have been inspired to write every freaking day. There was no reason to “power through” this process. This fear that it might not get done in time was triggered by the deadline I was given by the publisher. I soothed that fear and realized that the deadline was not some kind of limit, some kind of constraint, but simply a notification from the Universe that the book would be written by then. The more I allowed myself to relax and trust, the easier the process became.
I edited the book the week after writing it, making minor changes here and there (the book was complete, so nothing needed to be moved around), and doing a spell and grammar check. My editing process is really quite simple: I read through my words and if anything feels “off”, I fix it until it feels right. Then, I handed it into my publisher, Hay House, and went on vacation.
Once I got back, bringing a new, higher, happy shiny puppy energy with me, I wanted to take one more pass at the book. I wanted to edit it in peace, having felt a bit rushed through the process before (like I said, in the future, I will not write and coach at the same time). So, I took a week off from coaching and spent some time with my “baby”, smoothing out a few more rough edges. But mostly, I spent time reading, and realizing just how amazing this book is. I realized that I’d been afraid that I might’ve missed something, that it wasn’t clear, or that I didn’t include everything I wanted. On this final read through, I realized that I’d covered it all. Now that I’ve had the chance to review the manuscript in peace, I feel completely aligned with it (the last bit of fear was the doubt that I hadn’t covered it all). The book has an energy of its own, just like a child, and I trust it completely to do what it’s going to do. It’s almost like I’ve now become a participant in that manifestation. It’s not MINE anymore. I don’t own it. I just get to play with it in the most delicious way.
Where do I go from here?
As the book’s energy continues to build so that it can reach more and more people, I’ll have to continue to keep up with it. I do this by working with the visualization of what I want – the same vision I’ve held all along. The more I do this, the better I feel about it; the more certain I am that the book is going to be a success. Of course, by success, I don’t just mean financial success (if I was trying to make as much money as possible off of this book, I would’ve self-published it). For me, success means that the book will reach as many people as possible, will expose new people to my work, and will actually allow people to gain more control over their realities. Money, I’m sure, will be a side effect of this success, but it’s certainly not the main goal.
Right now, I feel incredibly good about the book. I have absolute confidence that it will reach the audience that asked for it. I also KNOW that it will help me take Deliberate Receiving to a whole new level. I’m already lining up speaking engagements, which is part of the next phase for me (I love speaking!) I can’t wait to see the first physical copy – to hold my “baby” in my hot little hands. And I really can’t wait to get your feedback (I envision it being loaded with awesomeness!), to hear what you think about it, once you’ve read it. July 27th can’t come fast enough for me, I tell ya! Yay!
And now, I must obviously do the happy dance. Won’t you join me?