My Writing Process Q & A

Writing Process Blog Tour for Twitter #MondayBlogs

by

Janet Lucy, MA

Award-winning author of The Three Sunflowers, a children’s book for all ages

and

Moon Mother, Moon Daughter ~ Myths and Rituals that Celebrate a Girl’s Coming of Age

http://www.amazon.com/author/janetlucy

A big thank you to Tracy Shawn, award-winning author of The Grace of Crows, who invited me to join this Writing Process Blog Tour. (To learn more about Tracy visit www.tracyshawn.com)

I’ve been asked to share my answers to four writing-related questions, which is always an inspiring opportunity to clarify what’s current and compelling …

Listed below are the four questions followed by my answers:

Question: How does your writing process work?
Question: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Question: Why do I write what I do?
Question: What am I working on?

1. Question: How does your writing process work?

In order to answer this question, I’d like to first share how I became a writer, and why for me writing is as essential as breathing  …

My journey began twenty years ago … as a quest, catalyzed by death of a treasured friend. We’d been on a shared path for many years, searching for spiritual knowledge, and suddenly she was gone. At that time I was a busy working mother with two young daughters, and an outwardly full life; but the truth was, I felt exhausted and empty inside, and when my friend died, that void became exponentially greater. I knew the only way to go forward was first to go inward.

Plus … I had some serious questions: “Why did she die? If she died, why am I alive? And if I’m alive, what is the purpose of my life?”

To even begin to find answers to these questions, I knew I would need to create stillness, silence, and solitude … all of which were elusive, if not strangers at that time. So, I took a leave of absence from my teaching job, and called it a sabbatical, which literally means “to rest and to worship;” and as synchronicity happens, I discovered a book, The Artist’s Way ~ A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. One of her prescribed power tools is what she calls “The Morning Pages”: three pages of daily unedited long hand … and here is where the alchemy eventually took place.

Each day, I began at the top of the first page, my heart as heavy as lead … and by the time I reached the bottom of the third page, something began to glimmer — a nugget of truth, a pearl of wisdom, and in a voice I hardly recognized as my own: it was the voice of a kinder, wiser, and most importantly, truer self than I’d ever known. The vast and infinite void inside no longer frightened me; in fact, I was discovering a friendly universe, and from within it, I began to connect the dots. Slowly, the previous picture of my life changed before my eyes, and in it’s place, I had an inspiring new vision and an authentic voice for writing. I was becoming a writer.

“The morning pages” is still my daily spiritual practice … it’s where I get centered, find clarity, and navigate my life each day. It’s an essential intuitive compass, and also the source of divine and creative inspiration. The word “inspire,” literally means to breathe, and for me, writing is as essential as breathing.

2. Question: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. Question: Why do I write what I do?

I’ll answer these together …

Because for me writing is a spiritual practice, what comes through me and onto the page has a spiritual essence with it’s own unique expression. Both of my books, Moon Mother, Moon Daughter and The Three Sunflowers illuminate a divine feminine wisdom, which I have channeled into fiction and non-fiction. Moon Mother, Moon Daughter reveals an ancient global goddess culture, based divine feminine values … intuition, creativity, community, and more. In The Three Sunflowers, the main character, Gloria, is a radiant wise woman and divine mother, a goddess in another guise, a tall and regal sunflower! Though these concepts and characters are not entirely unique, they are what characterize my writing. I feel my role is to honor the divine feminine through my work and my writing, a calling I’m honored to fulfill.

4. Question: What am I working on?

This is often an author’s best kept secret … as we germinate our new seeds of possibility, there is a vulnerability, not unlike that of a protective, pregnant mother. It takes time to fully develop the ideas, and especially if one allows the story to reveal itself. My new story began over two years ago, and has shape-shifted along the way. I’m writing “magical realism,” which is the reality from which I live! I have a muse and character, Lucy, who I follow across the page … and beyond. Last fall she took me to Italy, in search of her namesake, Saint Lucia, and the ancient Black Madonnas. This involved a lot of serendipity, which has it’s own magic and mystery. I’m in awe of the process, and experience my role more as scribe than author. I explore and write what I’m asked or told. So when an inner voice requested, “Remember me, Saint Lucia,” that was the prompt which began the journey. The story is still unfolding, organically, just like life.

The Writing Process Blog Tour: Who is next to blog for May 26?

Below are the bios for three amazing authors with links to their websites:

Kate Riley is an author, teacher, and international story consultant. Kate has been teaching the art and craft of writing memoir since 2003. She has published numerous articles and essays and co-authored The Green Velvet Journals with her mother, Vee Riley. Kate lives in Hailey, Idaho where she facilitates ongoing weekly writing groups for adults and teaches kids and young adults the art of storytelling. Kate is available for private consulting and international writing retreats. To meet Kate visit http://www.kateriley.org./

Patricia Selbert is the award-winning author of the novel, The House of Six Doors, which was published in 2011, and more recently, The House of Six Doors: An Immigrant’s Memoir. Her work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. She was raised on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, speaking four languages. She immigrated to California at age 13. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband, two sons, and three dogs. http://patriciaselbert.com

Janice Cook Knight is a writer and cooking teacher. Her resume includes several years as head chef of the Follow Your Heart Restaurant in Canoga Park, California, and she is the author of the Follow Your Heart cookbooks. http://www.janicecookknight.com

 

5 thoughts on “My Writing Process Q & A

  1. Janet, I loved reading that for you writing is a spiritual practice that involves going inward in order to express your unique gifts. I have a question for you: Do you keep all of your morning pages? or do you destroy them? I have done my morning pages in journals for 20 years and now that we are moving, I realize that I have a a very large box of journals filled with my thoughts and feelings. I originally thought that I would burn them, but as I occasionally browse through them I am struck by the continual spiral of my spiritual evolution. I’d be interested to hear form you and your readers, whether or not they save their morning pages. Just as an aside, I found the exhibit of Jung’s Red Book at Pacifica fascinating!

  2. Hi Brecia,

    Thanks for visiting my website … what a wonderful question! I too made a similar self-inquiry when I moved several years ago and acknowledged the years worth of journals I had accumulated, and like you was tempted to release them with a ritual of some kind. Then I checked in with my daughters, and one of them let me know she would really like the opportunity to read them some day, perhaps after I’m gone. Isn’t this what we fear? And yet, I felt so touched that she would want to know more about my inner life, as I would have loved to learn about my mother, that I decided to keep them. So for now my gazillions of journals are in plastic bins in a friend’s basement … awaiting their mysterious destiny. I know not all of us want to be read “like an open book” … but at this point, I have no real secrets … rather, truths that I’m honored and willing to share. Please let me know what you decide!

    With love,

    Janet

  3. Pingback: My Writing Process: Writing Process Blog Tour for Twitter #Monday Blogs | News from Home

  4. Thanks Janet~ I’m still on the fence. Over the years my journals have provided me with a safe place to vent feelings and thoughts that I would not want to share with others. These can sometimes be toxic thoughts that are very real to me that I can put down on the page and have a look at, let this process work to help me move passed these limiting thoughts and then move on. There is a healing process that happens when I accept that even these low level thoughts are a part of who I am, but I choose not to give them power. Knowing that my journal is a safe and sacred place that no one else will see, allows me to be completely honest with myself. I’ve always kept my journals very private. So my journals have played a role in my own self discovery and feel a bit like a mirror/friend/coach/therapist/spiritual guide. I also encourage my clients to keep their journals private.

    I love your willingness to share your writing and yourself. Could the box of journals be an amazing gift to my daughter after I’m gone? Hmmm… I think I’ll teeter here on my fence a little longer.

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