Monday, April 19, 2010
A Journey of Creativity Part 2
There is a Buddhist Proverb: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
The teacher signifies a readiness. It could be a teacher, a book, a class, a resource, a job or a next step. The step you have been preparing for has arrived. And many times it is a SURPRISE!
At an Evolutionary Women’s Retreat, in October 2007, there were conversations about expressing our creativity and the wisdom that was percolating all over the retreat center that weekend. On Sunday morning, Karen Porter, one of my friends who was also attending the retreat, stood up and shared an inspiration that came to her in the shower that morning.
We should all write a book together. The name of the book would be, “An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life.” I felt a deep Yes! in my heart as soon as she said the words.
In the next minute, the woman behind her stood up. She said, “I am a publisher who will publish your book.” One year later we had a published book! Christine Kloser became the mentor and publisher.
Before I share some of the details that emerged as we wrote the book, I want to tell you a little bit about Christine Kloser. She is a phenomenal resource. Her company is called Love Your Life Publishing, Inc.
Lynne Klippel is the managing partner in the company. The combination of their energy nurtures, inspires, and creates a supportive structure for a book to be birthed. If you feel that you have a book that wants to be birthed or have a story to write, I have included a few links to their programs.
This is a link to the home study program: Get Your Book Done Now
In addition: Christine and Lynne have a group book project starting now. Here is a FREE tele-class about the book project: Align, Expand, Succeed. The call is on April 21, 2010 3pm Eastern time. There will be a recording of the call, but you must sign up to receive the link.
Below, I have listed several steps to begin the writing of a book and some of the specifics of our process.
Step 1: Create a title for your book
Step 2: Go to bookstores to look at book cover pictures and back covers. Writing the back cover for your book can bring a clarity to the purpose of your book. A book front cover can be an inspired vision in front of you. Look for other books that are similar to yours to see what is on the market and what has been successful.
Step 3: Create a structure to invite authors and a structure for support. If you are writing a book by yourself use a program like Christine’s or find a writer’s group and book buddies who can be there to support you.
Here are some of the specific details that were formed with our book:
~ We formed a core group of Bonnie Kelley, Lucky Sweeny, Karen Porter and myself. The ideas was to generate ideas and hold the energetic structure for the book. The core group was the container that held the book as the writers and ideas emerged.
~Book title- Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life
-Book cover was already a picture on our website and the graphic designer presented different lettering designs for us to choose.
~250 women who had attended Evolutionary Women Retreats were invited to submit a personal 1500 word story that wanted to emerge from them to share.
Over a period of several months, 44 women became the authors in the book.
~The idea of a sacred jar of stories emerged as a place to hold the intention of the stories. Story ideas were submitted to me. I printed the e-mail from the author, rolled it into a scroll, tied it with a ribbon and said a prayer for the author to bring forth the deepest expression of herself to share in the inspired story. It was the intention that this story would reach each person who needed to read it.
~ Sage Knight and Karen Porter, two of the 44 women authors, held a space for women to call on the phone every Tues night for three months. We used a free conference calling line. The women were responsible for their own phone charges. Some had unlimited long distance so the call was free to them. Women shared the journey of writing. They shared the joys, the frustrations, the tears, the celebrations, the doubts and received the encouragement to share their voices.
~ A group of women agreed to be gentle readers to give feedback. Some of them were authors and some were women who attended the retreats but were not writing a story in the book. The guidelines were to answer three questions.
1) What do you like about the story?
2) What is unclear?
3) Any ideas or suggestions?
~The authors then had a chance to receive the feedback, reflect, re-write or not and return the story for the final editing. We also decided that the pure expression of each woman’s voice was more important than grammar and literary significance. It was the emotion and the energy of the words.
~Judith Watson stepped forward and offered to do all of the final editing of the book.
~ We also had a few women who helped mentor individual authors, one word at a time, to write their story.
~Christine Kloser wrote the back cover of the book, after the book was published. We had an original intention and we also decided to see what emerged before writing a back cover.
Here are two pictures with some of the authors.
East Coast Retreat. Bon Secours Spiritual Center August 2008.
West Coast Retreat: La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, CA December 2008
~ One Tip about the back cover. If you are writing a story or a book, it is good to know the essence of what you are writing. What is the message? Why would someone want to read your book? Answering those questions is a personal growth experience on its own. Writing the back cover in advance can bring you clarity around your message and answer your “why” for writing the book. This can help you to write with a focus of your message.
Next week I will write about things I learned when I wrote my personal story for Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. I will share my experience and a few examples of other authors in the book.
Please write in the comments section to share with each other. Your own ideas and stirrings. If you have questions for me, go to: http://www.formspring.me/andreahylen Type in questions and I will answer them there.
If you haven’t voted for me in the Next Top Spiritual Author contest, you can go to this link to register on the site, view the video and vote. Thanks!