Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write Preview #2
Many people know me for my hopefulness, my spirit of renewal, and for always looking on the bright side. Popular thought holds that I may even be part unicorn.
Yes, glitter might run through my veins. What you also need to know is that my bright outlook relies on a murky dark side.
And this: dark fertilizes light.
Endings fertilize beginnings. And honestly, saccharine happy endings, in addition to being deceptive illusions, don’t make for great compost. The more miserable the ending, the better the fertilization.
In my last post, “The Book is Not the Point; It’s the Entry Point,” I wrote about beginnings. I suggested that the call to write a book might actually be about something much bigger, as well as some first steps to answer that call.
This post is preview #2, to give you a sense of my approach in Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write (registration opens officially tomorrow, January 11, 2017!). Here I want to talk with you about endings, not as a goal, not in terms of how the book you want to write will conclude, but rather as compost for rebirth and something you can use to get started.
If you’re feeling the urge to write a book, I bet you have lots of endings in play. Maybe some that you want to write about, or maybe some that are making space for you to finally write something at all. Perhaps the ending of illusion, relationship, employment, or struggle with addiction.
Here’s a question for you: What endings are connected to your current book-writing urge?
Whether or not those endings are your subject matter, I encourage you to tap into the power of the endings you’ve experienced, especially the unhappy ones. Instead of getting over those dark finalities, I encourage you to get into them—to play in the dirt of them and find or plant some seeds there.
I know the ache of endings. My dad’s death when I was fourteen. Leaving home. Leaving another home. Leaving another home. Marriage ending. Moving. Leaving. More loss of beloveds and friends to tragic ends. Some recent and raw.
With much gratitude, I recognize that somehow, in this life, I’ve been given the gift of knowing how to start over and launch into a new adventure, and how to help others start over and launch forth themselves.
Supporting rebirth is one of my favorite things. After over twenty years of doing that in various ways, I’ve learned that people can so easily stay stuck in and defined by endings. Well, I was rejected, so clearly I’m a reject. Well, I moved to this shitty apartment, so I can only live in shitty apartments. Well, I compromised my ethics to take this position, so I’m bound to be shady forever. Well, my marriage imploded, so I’m a disaster at relationships. Well, I lost that job, so I’m unemployable. Oh well.
What so many people don’t realize is that within the wormy earth of endings is always a seed for a rebirth. Without exception, you can find something there that can and will become something else, and not just anything else, but something enriched by the life compost of it all.
So, time for some alchemy. If you are considering writing about a particular unhappy ending, break it down into parts. Take an inventory of all you lost, and then see if you can build a parallel supply list. For each component of your loss, ask yourself, what might be a gift it has to offer?
I used to be enchanted by the happy ending, but not anymore. Now I’m much more interested in the redemptive ending, the renewal ending, the ending that takes into account the dark as fertile ground for a beginning.
Whether you choose to explore the course I’m offering or not, may these reflections be useful to you and your book.
To summarize your tasks, should you choose to accept them, with a few suggestions for how to go about them:
- Get to know the fertilizer at your disposal, and consider what endings are connected to your current book-writing urge. You might use the writing prompt, “The endings I see at my starting line…” or “Out of the wreckage…” or “In order to start, I had to end…” Note: such writing prompts are a fun component of Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write.
- If you are considering writing about an unhappy ending, break it down into parts. Take an inventory of all you lost, and then see if you can build a parallel supply list. For each component of your loss, what might be a gift it has to offer? How might it be useful? Note: If you’re not careful—and I encourage you to be not careful—this work might turn into a book outline.
- If these tasks resonate with you, I invite you to sign up to get early registration access and some bonus treats for Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write. I would love to have you on the course roster.
Registration opens this Wednesday, January 12 (PS: REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN and YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE). The course begins January 18. All kinds of wondrous details about the course are here. I’d love to hear from you with any questions or comments.
Coming soon, Preview #3: You Don’t Have to Carry the Heavy Thing by Yourself.
With love and compost,
Thank you so much for reading. You might notice that I don’t have a space for comments, but I’m certainly open to conversation about what’s written here. If you’re so inspired, feel free to start a conversation with me via the contact form on the homepage of this site.