Court Jester, acrylic on canvas board, 16″x20″, part of the Stream of Consciousness Series, http://www.carolineallen.com.
Evolving ourselves, owning our authentic voice, our authentic selves, may be the most important aspect of becoming a great writer. It may be more important than studying plot, characterization, setting or theme. It may be more crucial than a master’s degree, more relevant than any workshop or online course you can take.
Five years ago, Lisa Sharpe Jones (www.artoflivinghappy.com), stopped our coaching relationship. For many months, we’d been working together on her memoir about her husband’s death from cancer and her subsequent spiritual transformation. In the years since the death, she’d remarried. She and her new husband had just found the house of their dreams. She stopped coaching, stopped working on her memoir because she said she felt that a new life had begun, and she needed to move away from this old life that was so full of pain.
It’s not unusual for clients to want to stop a project in the middle, so I wasn’t too worried. I knew Lisa would get back to the book when she was ready, whether or not she worked with me.
Last month, Lisa contacted me again, ready to revisit the book that she hadn’t worked on for five full years. She was excited, and dove in with passion. We discussed the first chapter from so many years ago and decided what needed to be done. Lisa took on the revision and several days later emailed me the updates.
I sat at my laptop awed and amazed at how far her writing had come. What I read was raw, real, powerful and professional. What I read was the work of a professional writer. What had happened to her writing in those five years?
I found out Lisa hadn’t taken courses on writing. She hadn’t even really practiced writing. What had happened was she spent the time evolving spiritually. Besides practicing disciplines like yoga, she did regular personal meditations and took courses in spiritual development. She did whatever she could to connect with herself and with her higher self.
I think the most important thing that Lisa did was accept herself. This seemed to happen on many levels, and showed itself most powerfully in the fact that Lisa accepted her gift as a psychic channeler. She’d long ago quit her corporate job at a hedge fund to follow this path. Still, at first, even when I knew her five years ago, she was shy, shakey about this new role. How could she go from corporate to metaphysical and be taken seriously? Could she take herself seriously? It can be a difficult transition. I left journalism to follow my path as an artist/writer, so I can fully understand. In the past five years, she’d come to fully own her power, and I think to fully open herself to a universal power — a process that is at once humbling and at the same time empowering. She now openly called herself a channeler and has started making money doing this powerful work.
Today, Lisa channels for large groups, and she’s so accepting of who she truly is, that recently she discovered it was fine for her to go back to the hedge fund part-time. It no longer defined her.
As I spoke to Lisa in our next session about the power of her writing, I thought about my visual art. I have often said that my art gets better as I deepen myself. I don’t particularly need art courses. I thought about art school, but kept getting the message I didn’t need it. I just needed to own the power of my soul. That’s easier said than done, and I’m sure Lisa will attest to this, it’s a lifetime process.
If you want to progress as a writer, start evolving yourself spiritually, align to your highest power. Start now. Don’t wait. It can be a long process. If you do this and the connection feels politically correct, you’re doing it wrong. True alignment translates as quirky, passionate, sexy, wild and sometimes even a bit crazy. Authentic voice is the real you you’re no longer hiding. You’ll know you’ve hit the vein of gold when you look at your writing and your art and you know this is the you that you knew you always could be.
I cannot stress enough how powerfully this connection translates to the page, how it both deepens and ratchets up your short stories, screenplays, novels or memoirs, how it turns you from an amateur to a true professional.