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Durga Walker : Not for Writers Only: The Creative Power of Writing

Not for Writers Only: The Creative Power of Writing

By Durga Walker | Updated 3/24/15

Ancient alchemists were intent on transforming base metals into gold. But on another level, alchemy was seen as a means of transforming the alchemist's base nature into a higher spiritual state.

Likewise, gold nuggets often emerge from the raw material of words. And at the same time, whether or not you consider yourself a writer, the alchemy of writing transforms your life every time you pick up a pen.

Writing as a creative force

Writing builds a bridge from the formless realm of vague ideas and misty sensations to the concrete world of physical reality. Through writing, our ideas are given a physical form that we can share with others who will hopefully understand what we're trying to say.

But just as important as the element of communication is the way our formless ideas crystallize within our own minds as we search for the right words to nail them down.

The act of writing is an act of creation in a very real sense. As I'm picking my way through this complex minefield of word choice, the words I choose are crashing through the barrier between worlds, assuming form, and affecting everything around them in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. They're triggering ripples of energy, giving people ideas, setting things in motion, tickling the Universe, and changing me in the process. The moment of writing is a point of power, and a responsible writer will treat it with respect and use it wisely.

Consider the way a fiction writer creates a character. Novelists, particularly those writing character-driven novels, say time and time again that their characters have taken on a life of their own. They're making decisions the writer could not have predicted, and those decisions are determining the direction of the plot. Through the words the writer has chosen, the character has come alive. A new force has been created. Imagine that.

Now imagine harnessing this same creative power and applying it to your own life. It's precisely this inherent power that makes the writing process such a magnificent tool for realizing your own creativity.

Use this force to achieve your dreams

Whether or not you think of yourself as a writer, you can do the following:

Start with what you want for yourself. If you know it, brilliant! If you don't, write it out. Explore it in words, the same way you explore any topic. One of the great myths about writing is that a writer knows precisely what to say before beginning. I certainly never do! I have a sense, an idea, a basic direction, and then I start exploring. If I knew beforehand what I was going to say every time, I'd have quit writing long ago. How boring that would be! Take the time to explore your dreams and desires. Don't be afraid to write the most outlandish things. This is for your eyes only.

Think about what you want, not what you can get. Focus entirely on what you want, not what you think is out there for you. Take it one step at a time. Name what you want and begin working with the generative forces as they present themselves. This will put you squarely in the creative mind, where all things are possible and new good is created through positive means. There is no pie to split up, no limited number of outlets, no predefined ways to realize your creativity. There is no lack or competition — there is only creation.

Write it out in great detail. Let your imagination soar! And be as specific as possible. Writers depend on concrete detail to make their work believable. Look at some of your favorite novels and notice the colors, scents, and textures that make up the most enthralling and convincing scenes. God is in the details — literally! The more you live and breathe into your description, the closer you come to collaborating in its creation.

Remember that this is NOT a bestseller. Don't be seduced into trying to write the Great American Novel while you do this exercise. This is not art. This is you describing something you want in your life. It is a means to an end, not a masterpiece in itself. Make a mess, be sloppy, be expansive. Let the words flow — and don't allow your internal writing critic any play here at all. There is nothing to critique. This is what you want. Who could find fault with that?

Throw your force behind it. As you're writing, be aware of your own creative power. Pay attention. Imbue your words with energy and belief. If you truly want what you're focusing on, if it's in line with the greater good and does not inflict harm on anyone else, if your whole heart is engaged with no shadow of doubt, the power you bring to this act is immense.

Read often what you've written, and write it again many times. The more often you write and read about your dream, the more indelibly it's imprinted in your brain and the more often you'll automatically think about it. Reprogram that "I can't have" function with a new bright and colorful picture of your goal. Taste it, see it, smell it, feel it through the power of your own words. This in itself will begin to bring it about. Remember: Only those things we give our attention to can grow. Don't let your dream whither like an underfed plant.

If you are a writer — or a budding writer — you can take the next steps:

Apply your writing skills. This is a deeper level of exploration. Fashion essays or short stories or novels around your theme. Be creative. If your dream is to retire to a desert island to paint, dive into the topic and write exhaustively about island life, the tropics, the strange adventure of Gauguin. If you want to be a successful novelist, write about writing, about other writers, about the writing experience. But do it in a professional manner. The act of writing is creative in itself, but the act of writing with a critical eye calls for a precision of thought that focuses your concentration like a laser beam. It requires that same level of awareness that brings the novelist's characters to life. Use it to bring your dream to life.

Get it out into the world. Send what you've written out into the world, either to publications or onto the Internet. There's an almost infinite number of e-magazines, blogs, and sites that are looking for new material all the time. Spread yourself around. As you do this, you're establishing yourself as an expert on your topic. You're making new relationships and creating a network of energy. You become the center point of a field of attraction that will bring you what you want, and channels are set up by which you can receive it. The Internet is an enormously powerful ally in realizing our dreams!

Take responsibility for your words. Be aware of what you're writing and how it might affect others. You can't possibly know all the consequences of what you write, so stay in touch with your heart. Listen to its guidance. This is your intuition we're talking about, not your rollercoaster emotions. You know what's right. The more your words are in harmony with the greater good, the faster your dream will come about, so heed your heart's counsel. Words are powerful. Take responsibility for what you put out into the Universe. Wield your tool with love and care.

No matter what our writing aspirations may be, we all have words at our disposal and we can all use them to bring our dream from its fuzzy state of longing into the concrete world of reality. If we then choose to apply our skills and work a little magic, not only will our lives change dramatically, but we'll become better writers in the process. •

©2005 Durga Walker. All rights reserved.

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