I wanted to write about an unusual occurrence having to do with my writing.
Just recently, a young writer reached out to me on Goodreads, the world’s largest social media website for readers and authors, and asked me for advice for a young writer.
I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let me say a few words.
Every writer has a relationship with her writing.
Just as you have a relationship with your most intimate partner, a writer has a relationship with her writer self.
At times in my life, I felt like I lost her.
It was 18 painful years between my first and second book. The entire time I felt I had lost the truest aspect of myself.
It wasn’t just a case of writer’s block.
I felt I really didn’t know where I actually was.
Fast forward to 2019.
I’ve now published nine books (you can find them here on my Amazon Author Central page) and I’m feeling myself again.
Here’s the advice I would give a young writer:
- Get a dog. Even if you’re having a hard time with your writing, your dog will be your best friend and won’t judge you for it.
- Get a hammock and practice being very relaxed. Mental and physical tension are the enemies of good writing.
- Lie in your hammock for long periods of time with your laptop and your dog.
- When inspiration comes to you, give yourself permission to write down the words you hear in your head.
- Forget the people who tell you to write so many words per day. Just like no one tells you how often you need to pee and you actually just pee when you need to, write when you really need to write. Don’t let anybody else tell you how to write. It’s all about listening from within.
- Alternatively, if you are an early riser like I am, lie in bed and meditate, pray and practice breathwork until inspiration naturally drops in.
- Then get your laptop and write down the words you hear.
- When you are done writing get up and start your day.
When I was a little girl, I heard people talking about life purpose and I wondered what I should do with myself.
I remember staying up all night – the first time I had never slept a wink – wondering and deeply thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life.
As the dawn broke, I got my answer.
I have never doubted the guidance I received and spent the rest of my life preparing to do what I had been told to do as a very little girl.
Over the years I have made a study of my own creative process and sought guidance from the wisest people I could find.
One year I even attended a workshop with Esther Hicks, the spiritual teacher.
I was thrilled when she picked me out of an audience out of 500 to come up on stage.
I asked her how I could do a better job of listening within in order to write, and with her insights I completed my book Unlimited Energy Now.
With every book I write I think I get a better handle on my own process, observing myself, watching what shuts me down and what inspires me.
I’ve had great luck attending workshops with the writing coach Tom Bird, who you can read about at his website here.
Years ago a friend in Atlanta had told me, “Catherine, this is right up your alley. This is intuitive writing.”
My friend, now deceased, was absolutely correct.
Tom Bird helps you to write from your deepest spiritual connection.
I started my second book, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness, at a Tom Bird writing retreat in 2012.
I was so relieved to be writing again after an 18 year hiatus that when I finished the rough draft at the end of the retreat I sat down at wept.
Sometimes I write books without ever going to a Tom Bird writing retreat.
Sometimes I start books on my own and then finish them at a Tom Bird writing retreat.
That was the case with The Little Book of Breathwork, which I started maybe a year before and finished at a Tom Bird writing retreat in March of this year.
I wondered if it might be too soon but I went ahead and signed up for the Tom Bird writing retreat scheduled over Labor Day weekend this year.
I hadn’t written a word of my new book ahead of time.
I came in cold.
I knew that the only thing I needed to do ahead of time was to rest, as the best analogy for these writing retreats is that they are like giving blood for three days straight.
You just give and give and give until you think there’s nothing left to give.
One night before I went to the Labor Day writing retreat I asked for guidance and was told to pull a card from Healing with the Angels, oracle cards from the author Doreen Virtue.
I drew the card for Archangel Michael, a powerful image of the winged angel with his sword of light.
In all my years playing with angel cards I had never before drawn Archangel Michael!
“This powerful archangel is with you right now. He gives you courage and helps release you from the effects of fear.”
The next morning, as I went to meditate, my guidance told me to look through my Insight Timer meditation app and look for guided meditations for Archangel Michael.
I listened to Archangel Michael guided meditations by Steve Nobel, Gus Ferreira, Georgie Deyn and Gina Nicole.
I read countless prayers to Archangel Michael.
When I tuned in, my guides told me that he wasn’t to be giving me personal messages but to help with information for everyone through my book.
Every morning before, during and after the writing retreat I meditated upon Archangel Michael with his powerful shining sword and healing cobalt blue light.
I wrote nearly 20,000 words over the three-day writing retreat.
Upon returning home, I continued to meditate with Archangel Michael every morning but found myself too exhausted to do much more than work with my clients, teach yoga and qi gong and lie in my hammock with my dog Dixie.
My editor Tony Kessler had warned me, “Don’t be in a hurry to finish your new book because I can’t get to editing it before the end of the year.”
Then one day Tony texted me and told me a weekend had mysteriously opened up.
So I lay in my hammock for days at a time looking up into the warm September sky and finished my new book.
About 30,000 words, soup to nuts.
I emailed the manuscript to Tony.
He edited the entire book in a weekend.
Meanwhile my book cover designer and layout guy Ramajon Cogan also had a sudden opening in his schedule.
Rama’s girlfriend was to be gone for a month so he suddenly has time to format my book.
By working with Archangel Michael I had somehow managed to write and edit an entire book in a month – record time for me – and suddenly the people who need to help me became immediately available.
It was the easiest book I have ever written. All hail to Archangel Michael!
“Michael is letting you know that, as you make changes in your life and as you encounter challenges, you are safe and secure,” Doreen Virtue wrote on the angel card.
“God and the angels help you stay true to yourself during trying times.”