Monday, August 29, 2011

The Heartful Art of Re-Vision I: Finding the "Vision" in Revision

We're accustomed to seeing the editing process as a harsh, left-brain activity too often filled with violent and abusive language: It's about forcing the work to our will, gagging, restraining or reigning in our characters, hacking away at our work or banging our manuscript into shape. Yet when we treat our drafts with such disrespect, we're also disrespecting ourselves as its creator.

What follows is Part I of a three-part series on a more heartful approach to polishing your work and your words.

See the editing process as one of re-vision, of revisiting your original vision for your work and putting all your heart, art and skill into aligning what's on paper with that vision.

As you move through your piece -- whatever it is, whatever its length -- see yourself as a jeweler, delicately etching your rough stone into the gem that reflects the vision your heart has conceived and received, then lovingly polishing it until you achieve the look and texture you desire.

Your vision is the light force of your work, the life force of your work. It's the spirit that is its essence, the breath that keeps it alive. Your vision is your dream for your work, the expression of your intention. It's what guides it, drives it and propels it -- from conception to completion.

The more deeply you stay connected to that vision -- however broadly or specifically you have drawn it -- the more completely the finished piece will remain true to that life force, that dream, that intention. And the truer you will be to the work that has called upon you to commit it to paper and breathe life into it.

Creating a vision statement is one way to maintain and strengthen that connection. In the vision-statement examples that follow, the first is the one I created for The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write before it was finished. The others were written by coaching clients and workshop/coaching-group participants, the first and third were for works-in-progress and the second was for the overarching spirit of the writer's work.

• The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write is about freedom: freedom to grow, freedom to create, freedom to write. Through a dynamic blend of motivational essays, inspiring meditations and practical exercises, it nourishes, nurtures and reassures its readers, inspiring them to open their hearts, expand their minds and experience, with ease, a full, creative life.

• Through the eyes of Lily Addams, A House of Gold will explore the arrival and lives of the Chinese immigrants here in Sacramento and the Foothills during the Gold Rush, as well as the possibilities for women during this transitional time in the Golden State. At a deeper level, at the very “heart” of the book, will be a story about the heart and becoming and staying whole-hearted through triumphs and trials, as well as through the daily joys and hurts that make up our lives. It is a book about heart, for heart, and by heart.

• Writing is choosing to dance with the The Goddess of Creativity, choosing to be in service to the Universe, choosing to surrender with Joy and Love to the Voice and Story that allows itself to be expressed through my Being and my experience.

• Remembering Your Divinity, A Co-Creator’s Guide to Manifesting by Heart is about creating -– by heart. Through a blending of science and mysticism, Remembering Your Divinity reminds you of who you are, why you are here, what it means to be a conscious co-creator, what creative energy is, how it flows, and how to use it, why the heart is the key to manifesting, and provides tools to stay in the flow of your creation so that you live as the God/Goddess that you are!

What's your vision for your work-in-progress or for your work as a writer? Don't think about it. Feel it. And when you start feeling it, start writing it down. It doesn't have to make sense. Just let it be what it is.

• For more information on how to articulate a vision statement for your work, see "Awakening Your Vision" in The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. You'll also find a two-part meditation ("Vision Quest") in The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Meditations for Writers, designed to guide you through the process. 

The Voice of the Muse book and CD are available at and Amazon (book, CD). E-versions of the book are available through Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo. A downloadable version of the CD is available on CD Baby.
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