All of a sudden, as if from nowhere, an idea or phrase arrives fully formed in my awareness.
It’s like receiving a ready-made piece of a creative jigsaw; the complete picture is often revealed at a later date, yet I’ve learned to pay attention and capture these fragments straight away.
An example is the question, “Who are you before the writing begins?”
It came to me in the early days of developing my ideas for Conscious Writing and remains one of the key questions for self-enquiry that lead you to discover your authentic voice as a Conscious Writer.
Your Authentic Voice
The usual definitions of what your authentic voice is have always left me feeling short-changed as they seem limited and incomplete, certainly where Conscious Writing is concerned.
If you look it up, you’ll find variations on the following:
- An author’s style, use of language and development of content, characters and dialogue.
- The equivalent of the presence an actor has on stage.
Both of these pointers are absolutely valid. Yet there’s an additional component that makes all the difference with Conscious Writing; it’s the essence of who you are that is the true source of authentic communication.
The Big Questions
It’s hardly surprising that this realization should emerge for me as I’ve always been drawn to exploring the big questions in life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here?
After many years of experimenting, I discovered that the state of consciousness you’re in when you do your creative work (or indeed anything at all) fundamentally affects the quality of your experience and the end results.
So if you’re present in the moment and connected with the real you, you’re far more likely to be able to express yourself authentically.
Essence and Form
When you combine this state of internal alignment with your ability to communicate through the spoken and written word, you end up with a completely original blend of soul and craft.
It’s this mix of essence and form that defines your true voice.
Fundamentally, the essence remains unchanged.
Yet the way you communicate it and the forms you use evolve as you deepen your connection to the truth within and develop your experience of allowing the right words to pour through you onto the page.
“Who are you before the writing begins?” is like a Zen Koan. These stories, statements and riddles are used in Zen Buddhism to interrupt the monkey mind that can’t stop chattering, and point towards a greater level of awareness and truth.
I love the fact that this question can be explored at so many different levels and, amongst other things, reveals whether your head and your heart are on the same page.
Essentially it serves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to pay attention to who you are being when you sit down to write.
If you’re feeling stressed, for example, your whole system will be in a state of contraction which makes it much harder for you to create freely and write deeply in a way that reflects the real you.
- Reflect: schedule some time for reflection on the question, “Who am I before the writing begins?” Play with possibilities to find your way in to answers that resonate with you.
- Write: use stream of consciousness writing to deepen your enquiry and capture your responses on the page.
- Remember: develop the positive habit of paying attention to the mindset you bring to the writing you do as an integral part of your creative practice and a key component of authentic communication.
If your inner critic ever challenges you with comments like, “What’s the point, it’s all been said before and far better than you could ever achieve”, remember this:
No-one can express what you’re here to share in the way that you do
when you’re aligned with your true voice!