“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”
Now that I have just published my fifth book, I have had yet more time to contemplate this infernal disease called writing.
My favorite place to write would be in my hammock on my laptop, curled up with a blanket if the weather is a bit cool, with my dog Belle at my feet.
I once consulted Esther Hicks and Abraham about it. Esther is a person who channels a spiritual being called Abraham.
I have attended four Tom Bird workshops, which has really worked for me.
Somebody sent me a message through Facebook asking me how much time I spend working on my books, which is frankly an unanswerable question because when you start writing a book, the whole process just pretty much takes over your life and seems to seep into every available free waking moment including when you are washing your dishes or driving in the car.
So here’s what I have come up with most recently.
Not that I have anything figured out, as I can only confess that writing a book is pretty much like falling in love in that you are not quite sure how that happened, how it came upon you or why you are doing it but it feels like something unavoidable.
Once you’re in the mess the only way out of it is simply to live through it.
So, to the insights.
I was reflecting yesterday that I am very thankful to be a medical intuitive healer because to me at least the process of writing is very much like doing a really good medical intuitive reading.
To wit, you have to have a method of getting your ego out of the way.
The more your ego is in the way, the more difficult the process can be.
I honestly think this is why it takes so many people years to write a book.
My first book took me three years to write and when I consider what I went through, all the research, which only added to the mental overload, that was kind of fast, all things considered.
Luckily for me, somebody now deceased told me about the Tom Bird writing method.
“Catherine,” she said to me before she died of cancer, “this is intuitive writing. It’s right up your alley.”
In a nutshell, the Tom Bird method is to write so fast – generally at least 500 words every 15 minutes, and when I am actually in the process of writing a book I tend to average more like 800 words every 15 minutes up to as many as 1,000 words every 15 minutes – that you bypass your ego.
In case you are wondering what the technical definition of ego happens to be, that would be the part of you that worries whether or not what you have to say is valuable or not.
In order to do a good medical intuitive reading, you have to get your ego pretty much totally out of the way.
What if you are right?
What if you are wrong?
What if you see or find out something scary, potentially life threatening?
I could go on, but the point is you have to find a way to get your fears out of the way, what you think you know out of the way, all the years of study, education, training, what you think of as wisdom but is actually just bloviating pomposity, all that mental clutter has to get the hell out of the way so that you can listen deeply to the other person’s soul.
If you can’t listen at the soul level you can’t be a good medical intuitive, period.
So here’s my personal experience of writing books.
I’m human just like a few other people I know, which means I have faults and foibles and emotions, insecurities and troubles.
I have recently noticed myself saying to my yoga class, “I’m not a perfect person and I have not lived a perfect life.”
Which means I have had a few interesting experiences, to say the least.
I find myself feeling a lot of regret, shame, grief and a whole host of other emotions that I don’t have time to go into at this point, but despite all my feelings about myself and who I have become, which is someone I actually enjoy being with, I realize that at some point we all have to get on with it.
I have concluded that the only way through the mud is through the mud, which means that we are all better off just moving forward as opposed to getting stuck.
And nothing gets you stuck like allowing yourself to get sucked into the quagmire of your emotions.
We have to set all that stuff aside, just plain accept it, admit that you too and me obviously have lots of missing pieces and that our brokenness doesn’t matter, we have a spiritual job to do, even if we can’t quite see the road ahead totally.
Somehow I have developed years of experience setting my ego aside at least long enough to do good medical intuitive readings, to listen to my own intuition and to keep my beginners mind so fresh that I keep having the thrill of being completely surprised over and over.
This essential skill of getting my messy business out of the way long enough to do my job well has come in handy during the writing of my books.
So here’s another big interesting revelation.
What I notice is that at least for me when I write a book, the energy of an actual book, a divine instrument that somehow has picked me to arrive through as the messenger deliverer bellhop girl, is so big, so powerful, that it pushes up and through me all the messy emotions that happen to be floating around getting in the way.
I would liken this to the tide at the beach.
The tide comes in and when it goes out it pulls back into the sea anything that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.
When I wrote my most recent book, Unlimited Intuition Now, I was doing pretty well and writing little bits day by day, not beating myself up when life got in the way, when I went to a Tom Bird workshop in November.
I observe that on the days where I am able to remain mostly calm, the writing flows. If and when I get particularly upset, the drama can shut down the spigot.
So here’s what it’s like at a Tom Bird writing workshop.
You come in, grab the table that feels to you like it has the best juju, sit down, spread out all your paraphernalia, which in my case usually includes about five or six flower essences, little tubs of yogurt, a box of almonds and a bottle of water, do a few breathing exercises and start writing.
Nobody asks you where you are from, who you are. It’s not like a Chamber of Commerce meeting.
In other words, no bullshit, a technical term in this case meaning you don’t get the opportunity to plaster on a facade of who you think you will sell well at that particular moment.
You just start writing as fast as you can, usually at first on a large unlined sketch pad and only after awhile on your laptop computer.
So when I was at my fourth Tom Bird workshop in November, this one held in Sedona, Arizona, the first night I noticed that I was sitting there writing about how upset I was at the time.
I had made the mistake of reading my emails before I went into the room to finish writing my book.
I had a moment to get entangled all over again in the drama of my life.
I raised my hand. Tom Bird walked over to me and I whispered, “I’m just sitting here writing about how upset I am.”
Tom Bird said to me, “Give it another 15 minutes and then tell your ego you have more important things to do right now.”
In this case, I had a few more 15-minute sessions writing out my apparent tales of personal troubles and woe, but finally after continuing to ponder the drama through the wee hours that evening until even I was bored with myself, I gave it up and then the next morning I came in and spent the next several days finishing my book.
Even the most tenacious ego has to exhaust itself so that the spiritual instrument of a book can come through.
The Allen Ginsberg quote most remembered on this subject is, “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
I would say embrace the utter insanity of your ego, allow it to exhaust itself, accept it, don’t get fooled it’s all that important and then get on with it.
This could be taken as good advice not only about writing but in life itself.
Keep one foot moving ahead of the other one.
Keep pushing your pen or your keyboard.
Don’t think for a moment that your ego has your actual best interests at heart, don’t get fooled by it, just get on, knowing and experiencing that God often picks a broken vehicle such as yourself because the energy of what you have to say despite all this has so much more power than what you think you are not.
Just accept your brokenness and allow yourself to be a happy writer.