No matter what your own spiritual and religious beliefs are, agnostic, atheist, or otherwise, it would be egotistical to assume that any book you write is really yours alone. Even saying the words “my book” gives me an uncomfortable feeling as that is not how the process works, or at least not for me anyway.
I was incredibly conscious of this exact process during my first real attempt and victory at writing the first draft of a novel in the NaNoWriMo November 2011 write-a-thon. While writing gurus will tell you all about letting go of the conscious mind and allowing the subconscious to surprise you, you have to wonder: where is the subconscious getting its material from?
This begs the further question on where creativity really comes from and when we say we are “inspired writers” in that moment of heightened creative flow, who or what is inspiring us? While thoughts vary on the exact nature of the intuitive download and how it works, creative people of all types will often describe this as being “in the flow” or “in the zone”. In this place of heightened awareness, time tends to take on another quality – faster and slower at the same time – and there is an intense feeling of everything being connected.
I like to think of the creative process as being the tapping into a vast memory bank of thoughts, ideas and visions. Through our energetic connection to each other and this super-dooper-supercomputer of wisdom described in quantum physics, we are somehow able to tap into the very, special idea that is ours for the taking. And for some of us hopefully it is more than one idea! For scientists that might be a major discovery, for artists it might be a powerful image to paint, and for writers is it story.
Yet I also think that there isn’t truly a destiny for each of these ideas. They lie waiting for someone, anyone, to make the commitment to bring that idea into the physical. If we make the choice not to then we miss the opportunity to parent something new and exciting in the world. And we also miss the opportunity to be fundamentally changed in the process – changed for the better. There is no doubt that taking up the gauntlet for creative expression changes who you are and transforms your life. Perhaps that is why so many of us want to, yet do not take that step – the responsibility is just too great.
And who put the ideas into the super-dooper-supercomputer anyway? And why are they there? Whether you are comfortable to say they come from God / G-d / Infinite / Absolute / Insert Alternative is up to you. Whatever you might call a divine power, I really think we have to accept that somewhere our creativity is really a co-creation. And why does the world need inventors / scientists / artists / writers anyway? I believe that through the stepping down of ideas – from a thought floating in the quantum soup down to the final outcome – that new and evolutionary ways of doing and being can be born.
So you have to ask yourself, what the real purpose of your writing is? What evolutionary way of life does it bring? And although this is quite a heavy question for you, that may never be answered, the real purpose is perhaps not what you think it is? Think of the most popular books at the moment – what do they bring us? Harry Potter? Hunger Games? Fifty Shades of Grey? If we look closely enough, we will see it. We therefore have to trust that in any creative pursuit there is purpose, meaning and growth in there somewhere. All that is left for us to do is to keep on co-creating, knowing that something or someone stands by to make sure we do it right.
Tell me what you think? Where does your creative flow come from? How does inspiration feel to you when it strikes? Do you have a way of staying connected to it? What are your thoughts on the purpose of the books listed?