A couple people kindly expressed an interest in a blog about how my spiritual journey has affected my writing. Good question!
I knew this would take some thought. It's turned out to be the equivalent of condensing a hundred-thousand page book into a three-page synopsis. Don't worry. This won't go on for three pages. :)
Perhaps I should first define what spiritual journey means for me, though it could mean something else to others, and give some background on what triggered this particular phase of my life.
I define my spiritual journey as experiences, realizations and changes in perception that bring me closer to my purpose in this life. My spiritual journey accelerated about five years ago when I turned fifty. A fairly routine visit to the doctor brought a dissatisfying result: he had no explanation for my concern of not feeling well other than I was "getting older." That wasn't good enough for me. I didn't want to live another thirty or so years not feeling well.
So I was ready for another way to live. I was open to alternatives.
I soon had an aha moment that my kids learned about in high school physics: human beings are energy. We are made up of atoms, which are electrons in constant motion in the space around a nucleus. We're not solid at all! Our bodies only appear solid.
A whole new world of possibilities opened up to me!
Not only are we energy, but some people knew how to channel that energy for greater health and well-being. I soon learned how to channel that energy too, through Reiki, and I thought I had discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and won the lottery all on the same day. My life was going to be so easy now!
Well, not exactly.
Reiki did mean healing for me. Not just of my physical body, but on spiritual and emotional levels as well. Along with this healing came the realization that we are responsible for our lives.
Our thoughts, emotions and actions determine what our lives will be. Very cool, right? Well, yes, but that also means no excuses. Whatever exists in my life, I'm responsible for manifesting, whether intentionally or by just drifting along. Lousy childhood, fights with parents, flaky relationships with men. Ouch! Why would I bring those things into my life? That's where my lessons came in. I learned to look beneath the surface of what was in my life and question why. When I discovered why, I was able to release emotional baggage I had carried for a very long time.
So how has all this affected my writing? I'm not sure. I haven't written an entire manuscript since my accelerated journey began. I've edited older manuscripts and finished ones that were started earlier, but I haven't written anything entirely new. Even the nine-book series I'm currently plotting was born pre-acceleration.
One thing I have noticed is I expect my characters to be smarter and to understand their own motives quicker. I also feel more comfortable digging deeply into motives. And since my characters carry a piece of me, I expect they will reflect my new perspectives also.
I think my writing process itself will benefit from my accelerated spiritual journey. When I'm stalling or avoiding a particular scene, I'll more quickly know why and push through it. No excuses, remember!
Will this make me a New York Times bestselling author? Not unless I'm willing to commit a hundred percent to that. Will this mean stories will flow uninhibited into my mind and onto the computer screen? Um...maybe!
Perhaps I have come late to the realization that this is a continuing journey with many lessons and many experiences. Perhaps other writers found out long ago that the joy of discovery is ours, it we choose to accept it and embrace it. Whatever the timing, I am honored to share this experience of writing with others who are on their own unique journeys. I would love to hear about your journey if you would like to share it.