I don't really like to do things. I am the one you will find sitting under a tree, in the shade, on the sidelines, while everyone else is having fun. You may think I am sad or pathetic, but watching is my preferred way of participating. (Either that or quietly wandering about appreciating nature and taking story notes or photographs.)
I have quiet energy. A receptive energy. Sitting there on the sidelines, I am not just being a bystander. I am opening my heart to what is happening, and experiencing it in stillness.
I write the same way - not working towards a story goal, but opening my heart, letting story enter. All too often I forget this though, and spend days, weeks, even months, searching and trying and drafting, in an effort to build story. It never helps me. Only when I literally sit back and realign my energy to reception, to witnessing rather than doing, can my creative process truly begin.
It's not really surprising that I forget this. Sometimes I think everyone else in the whole world has an active energy force. All the advice, encouragement, conversation surrounding writing is about things you can do. Elizabeth Gilbert spoke about receiving inspiration from the genius or muse, but then she also spoke about it being a two-sided process, and about doing the work whether the muse turns up or not. I wish there was more discussion about receiving, rather than actively and intently writing, a story. But then, maybe I am the only one who works like this.
All the stories in The Coracle Sky were written passively - which is to say, they pretty much wrote themselves. I don't mean they were channelled. I offer no certain explanation, except perhaps an idea that stories have their own spirits which they like to share. Or, more prosaically, perhaps this is just how I engage best with my own subconscious. (I create most of my blogposts this way too.)
It isn't necessarily an easy process. Receptive energy requires clean space (inside and outside of the self) and harmonising and time. I've found that certain foods can block it. Pain can block it. Weariness, worries, the wrong wind direction - so many things can get in the way of opening your heart and trusting to the wild spirits of story. I wrote Driftways in a fairly short time during which I did almost nothing else except type. When it came to Deep In The Far Away, I did a lot of begging and deep-breathing. This year, with this latest book, dedicating three solid months to writing was impossible. I left a lot in the hands of hope.
I believe so much of the trouble we have in our world these days is due to an imbalance of energies. Too many people think that doing is the answer to all our needs. They don't understand that witnessing, drawing in, holding the space, being the trust, is equally a valid and powerful way of experiencing life.