Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Writing Down Your Soul

By Malena Lott

Have you ever had a book that screamed at you from the postage-stamp sized cover on the computer screen? That happened to me last month with WRITING DOWN YOUR SOUL by Janet Conner about her process of deep journaling, which she says has the benefits of journaling, prayer and meditation all rolled into one.

As a writer, I’m drawn to anything that will enhance my creativity and clear my cluttered mind to make way for new ideas and guidance and connecting with the Voice – you know, the all-knowing, Higher Self Voice that seems to know what's best for us. What I found fascinating wasn’t her how-to or process on deep journaling, but rather the research and interviews in the book with experts on theta waves. And, get this, artists, when we are deep into our creative endeavors, we’re riding the same theta waves that monks surf when they are meditating. This photo is my little zen spot in the spot where I sit under the tree with my morning cup of coffee and try just to "be," which is hard some days!

I’ve written before about the zen of writing – and am now also writing about zen, period – but Conner’s book had some nice takeaways for writers, whether we’re trying to tap into our books or ourselves, which we know can more often than not be the same thing.

1. On the subconscious mind: She quotes Bruce Lipton, from his book, THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF, “When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind.” (See, writers, plenty of room for our characters to roam!)

2. On listening to the Voice: “Listen beyond the story to the story behind the story – the deeper joys, deeper sorrows, the deeper fears.” (A necessary step in our character’s goal, motivation and conflict and determining a story’s theme.)

3. On asking “why” (when whining): “The truth is, there is no one to blame…The sooner you give up the victim mentality, the sooner you can dive into and explore your soul’s truth.” (Something to chew on while we’re waiting for that big break and bestseller.)

My favorite part of writing is the discovery – the journey my characters and stories take me on. It’s also my favorite part of marriage, motherhood, friendship and work. I’ve realized I can’t force anything to happen – if anything, the more I resist it, the more it feels like quicksand. By opening up space for creativity to flow, I’ve got plenty of room for more.

What about you? How do you try to connect with your Voice?

Malena Lott is the author of several women's fiction novels and works as a brand and creative strategist. Her e-book novella, Life’s a Beach, about two unlikely friends and one bad case of karma, is available for Kindle, nook and Apple. Visit her blog about mojo, zen and creativity at


  1. Thanks for the suggestion, Malena. Sounds like a great book

  2. I love the part about our subconscious mind being more powerful than our conscious mind. I totally believe it! Sounds like a cool book, Malena!

  3. Wonderful post, Malena :)
    I believe that a story is already written inside of us before we get the words on the page. We have just have to tap into our subconscious to let it flow out. Some days are harder than others, but we have to respect the process.

  4. Very inspiring, Malena, especially the comment about the conscious and subconscious mind, which may be what allows us to be in two places at once. I love your coffee spot! Can't have too many of those.

  5. Malena, what a sweet surprise to find you chatting about Writing Down Your Soul on your delightful blog. I'm honored. It's so interesting to see what others pick out of the book to share. Have you ever read a copy of your own book underlined and marked up by an enthusiastic reader? It's a stunning experience. I love your Zen spot. My spot is my writing chair. I'd be delighted to share more about how to get into the theta brain wave state--that's where the magic is. Janet

  6. I'm a big fan of The Artist Way and the concept of writing morning pages to get the crap out of the way and to free up your creativity.

    Great stuff, Malena! And great advice to focus on the story behind the story, and what you are trying to say by writing the story. That's what keeps me writing.

  7. Susan, meditating has definitely helped me feel like I'm taking a vacation in my subconscious and it's been great seeing what come to the surface later!

    Maria, yes, so many stories, so little time. :)

    Cindy, my zen tree has really been a blessing. And, coffee is a must for me.

    Janet, so glad you found the post! THANK YOU! I'd love to have you guest on Book End Babes, too. I'll send you info on FB.

    Kathy, Janet talks about The Artist Way in her book, too. Yes, so much crap and clutter some days we need a mental dump truck!

    Thanks for commenting, ladies!

  8. Malena,
    What an interesting book! Thank you for sharing thoughts from it with us -- it sounds like one I'd love ;). Kathy mentioned The Artist's Way, and I really liked that one, too.

  9. I love these questions you've posed Malena--I needed to be reminded today about listening to the story behind the story.

    And it's so funny--often as I'm about ready to sleep, I think of things about my WIP and jot them down. IF I can understand what I wrote (big if), they are pretty interesting. Right from the subconscious I say...

  10. I like this title because I always do it when you write with your soul is the most spiritual we can express of own self

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