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The Art of Writing

"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."--Toni Morrison

I had such a fabulous conversation with my friend, and writing teacher, Jules Swales, this week. Jules is an accomplished Author, Poet, and Creativity Coach. In addition to studying under Method Writing teacher Jack Grapes since 2003, Jules has also had a 22-year history exploring the world of psychology and spirituality. It just so happens that we are both graduates of the University of Santa Monica, where we studied for a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. As her writing student, I can say first-hand that Jules' approach to teaching the art of writing is unique. Using a combination of her understanding of the 3 Principles and Method Writing, Jules teaches virtual classes to people around the world, and for all levels of writers. Before signing up for her class earlier this year, I was a relative newcomer to writing. It had only been a year earlier I had dared even to allow myself to think that I might actually be able to write. All my life, I knew I had something to say, but my insecurities had held me back. Like many great writers, Jules has led a fascinating life, which she describes as providing great fodder for her art. Having overcome addiction, the trauma of having her ex-husband go to jail, and many other harrowing life experiences, Jules describes writing as her' first love' and credits it for saving her life. Like Jules, I also experienced an unconventional life, which has impacted me and what I want to share with the world. Many people who have heard my story tell me that I must write a book. But unlike Jules, writing was not my first love. In fact, it was the opposite. I had grown up terrified of putting words on paper. I'm not sure if my resistance came from the fear of being exposed as not being good enough or the fear of someone finding out what I felt in my heart. Or maybe it was my convent school-teacher, Sister Dolores, who reminded us girls, each day before class, "Never write anything you wouldn't want God or your neighbors to know." Regardless of whether it was the fear of God's wrath, the judgment of my neighbors, or worst still the berating of my inner critic, I spent years fighting the urge to write. That all changed a couple of years ago when the need to share became more important than the need to hide. The irony is that most people think that it's the Ego that wants to be seen and heard, whereas in my case, it was the opposite. My Ego tried to keep me hidden in case my inadequacies should be exposed. But my Ego was no match for Mind, Creative Genius, God, Wisdom, Spirit, or whatever other name you might choose to use to describe the Creative Energy Behind Life that wants to be expressed through us. And that's what I love most about the approach Jules uses in her writing classes. She encourages us to let go of our Egos and our need to be perfect. To let go of any preconceived idea of what we want to say when we sit down to write. And to even let go of the desire to be a good writer! When we let go of all these concepts and ideas about ourselves, we create space for Mind/Creative Genius to flow through us. That's where the magic happens. When our Egos step aside, what comes through us is so much bigger and more profound than anything our intellect or personal minds could conceive of. I'm not going to pretend that writing is easy for me; it isn't. Or that I don't get caught up in my thinking about my writing, because I do. Or that I have fun when I write because more often than not, I don't. But I won't let that stop me. I won't let my Ego get in the way of what Mind/Creative Genius wants to express through me. For me, writing is like everything else. The more I show up and do it with as little thinking on it as possible, the easier it becomes. And my weekly Newsletter/Blog is living proof. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, I have managed to produce twenty-one newsletters, despite my insecure thinking! If you'd told me five months ago that I would have the courage to do this, I would have told you; you were crazy. I look forward to the day when, like Jules, I might fall in love with writing. Until then, I'll show up on the page, muddling through as best as I can, with this quote in mind! With love and appreciation, Del 💕


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