Writing from the Deeper Self

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Writing from the Deeper Self

Your Book Can Heal the World

Looking in the Mirror of Our True Nature

By Naomi Rose | Updated November 11, 2018

Have you ever read a book that touched you so deeply — in your heart, in your soul, in your mind — that it actually moved you closer to your deep Self? So that afterwards — at least for the next few days or weeks, while its impressions consciously replayed and filtered through your awareness — how you looked at life was different — more hopeful — more visionary, compassionate, accepting of what it is to be human? So that the person you became as a result of taking that book inside you who then moved in the world, moved more clearly, gratefully, inspiredly? So that the world itself was changed because of how and who you now were, in it?

I am guessing that you have, even if as a child being read a story, or reading to yourself Alice in Wonderland, The Little Prince, The Little Lame Prince, The Secret Garden, and other classics of the true imagination.

And did you ever stop to think that the book that you write can do the same thing for people who read it?

It doesn't even so much matter what the topic is. Any subject can become a door into what binds us all together, no matter what the unique details of your particular situation. You can be writing the story of your life. You can be writing a travel book. You can be writing about business, or relationships, or money, or child rearing, or anything you are drawn to write. (These are actual subjects written by some of my clients or myself.) The healing aspect comes in when you bring your deeper Self into the telling. And you do this by:

  1. learning how to listen to what's inside your heart,
  2. trusting its (often initially nonverbal) ways of making its message known to you, and
  3. learning how to translate that inner sensing into written language that
    • carries out the deeper Self's intention, and also
    • naturally rises into metaphor and poetry ("naturally," because you have encountered something ineffable — beyond words — and the metaphors come to your rescue as a way to allude to that "beyond")

A book that is written from the deeper Self is different from a straight-informational book, although it may indeed contain valuable information. As a reader, you'll know the difference because you feel taken inside the writer's experience and being, to the point where you feel closer to your own being. Even if the situations being described are wildly foreign to your experience, what is under those situations feels deeply recognizable to you, and helps bring you closer to what is inside you.

Gratitude for such a reading experience is not unusual. We crave a mirror of our true nature. We have craved it since infancy, and many of our adult relationships, often unconsciously, are predicated on trying to get someone to see who we really are — our goodness and vastness, rather than the more constricted and often unkind versions of ourselves we have grown to carry within as our identities.

So when an author, by having the courage and the love to mine the gold of their own true nature, shows us to ourselves, we are grateful — sometimes to the point of tears — to encounter ourselves at last. Perhaps it is like what the poet Derek Wallcott wrote:

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

You can see what an impact your book, when written deeply and truthfully, could have in the world — especially in a world so hungry for real Being, a world so saturated with superficial yet powerful values that tend to take us away from our true nature. Books can be a healing balm for the soul, even if the journey described is not always easy. It has been said that our thoughts and feelings create an atmosphere. Certainly, a book from the deeper Self has an "atmosphere." When I was a child reading the adult books in my writer-parents' bookshelves, I was too young to understand the complexities of plot, characterization, themes, and so on. What I did get was the atmosphere: what a room felt like at night, what a river felt like, flowing; the close-up of a loved woman's face, a turtle crossing the road.

Extending this notion of "atmosphere" further, in our time of global warming and serious concern about the atmosphere, consider the possibility that the atmosphere of your book might somehow be beneficial to the atmosphere of our shared world. How could that be? Can a book recreate the ozone layer? Well, here's an esoteric thought: What if the atmosphere in our own minds is the fertile ground in which our planet will be healed? And if that might be even the slightest bit true, then the atmosphere your book creates can go a long distance towards healing the planet, by healing the inner life of the reader; by providing new impressions, healing atmospheres, to shift the "paradigm" to a more beautiful and healthy one.

How do you create an "atmosphere"? Essentially, you write from within an experience, so that where you are, the reader goes too.

And once you have written a book from the deeper Self — perhaps with my guidance, either directly or by using my book, Starting Your Book — it's time to bring your treasures into the world, a world that your book has helped to remake.

Marketplace: Who You Are & What You Value Makes a Difference

Judging from the news about the marketplace, it might seem that the deeper Self doesn't have much of a place there. Although some wonderful books are of course being published, the publishing industry has suffered from the same corporate takeovers as other powerful systems. While there are many, many publishers around, many of them small- to medium-sized, there are now only six major publishers, all owned by corporate dynasties. The 3 P's are paramount: Promotion, Profitability, and Platform. Authors now have to guarantee a track record of credibility in their book proposals — a huge mailing list, workshops, contacts in many lands, etc. — so that publishers are even willing to publish their books.

It used to be that publishing was considered "a gentleman's profession," and that good writing and esthetic concerns were mostly all a writer needed. This was in the days of the legendary Scribner's editor Maxwell Perkins, who took then-unknown writers such as Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald under his kindly wing, accepting, for example, overflowing cartons of manuscripts from Wolfe and personally paring them down into the masterpieces Wolfe has left behind (Look Homeward, Angel, and more).

Our time — although certainly also filled with some wonderful books — has shifted its values. The "bottom line" has gotten pretty low. There is a growing tendency in popular culture to trivialize book writing and make it seem like it should only serve the marketplace, as the following reveals:

  • From a writing coach: "I don't even let my clients start their books until they know what publishers are buying. Then they can write what will sell, and be assured of publication."
  • From a PR consultant, writing about writers promoting their books: "It doesn't matter if your book is well written. You can always hire a good writer to do it for you. What you really have to have is charisma."
  • And from a newsletter on self-publishing (a good one, too): "You have heard of paint-by-the-numbers. This system in a binder shows you how to WRITE-by-the-numbers. [You will be supplied] with a 33-page book-writing template in a 3-ring binder. You just fill in the blanks."

This, as my father used to say, is "putting the cart before the horse."

But the good news is that, rather than despairing that you have no choice but to follow the marketplace's view of what sells, you can raise the bar to match what you write and who you are. If you stay true to what's in you, and follow the unfolding wisdom in your heart (and learn some writing-craft, if need be), your book will pave its own way. The spirit that called you to write your book is not finished with you just because the publishing marketplace is in a certain state at the moment.

If you follow your heart, guidance will come to you from within. Doors will open. Red carpets may unfurl at your feet. The goal you thought you had in the beginning may evolve into something much vaster and higher. The publisher of your dreams may find you. Or you may decide to publish your book yourself. If you stay tuned to what's inside you, that which called you will guide you all the way through the process. And you will succeed beyond your deepest dreams in touching the lives of people who will take your book into their lives and be forever transformed.

So no matter what kinds of discouragement you may read about or encounter in the marketplace, remember that what called your book into being is still there to guide and serve you. And remember, too, that no one really knows what the public will buy ahead of time. Trends are guesses, based on what came before. The more you as a reader and book-buyer indicate your preference for books written from the deeper Self, the more you become instrumental in shifting the balance towards a readership of deep books. You can do this by:

  • Reading them.
  • Contacting the authors to tell you how you were affected by their books. (You can write to the author c/o the publisher, and they will forward your letter.)
  • Contacting the publisher to tell them how much you value a certain book. (This builds a "good rep" for the book, which the publisher takes seriously.)
  • Asking your local bookstore to stock the book. (This indicates the presence of potential buyers for the book.)
  • Telling your friends to buy the book! (Word of mouth is the surest sales tool.)

My point is that no matter what state the publishing industry is currently in, you can have a hand in how it functions. You can help raise the standards of what people want to read. And you can help develop a favorable climate for the publication and eager reception of your own book, once it is completed and ready to be sent, with great love and winged communication, out into the world. It's all within you.

©2007 Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

Next: You are the Treasure Embedded in Your Book