My Writing Guides, in Form and Spirit

Earlier this year, I was experiencing a digestive disturbance. After several visits to my acupuncturist, it occurred to me to wonder what this rather common malady might be telling me about my life (besides not to consume spicy food, chocolate, wine, and everything good). I arrived at the conclusion that I was failing to express myself and follow my purpose (as simultaneously trite and momentous as those things sound). I knew I was supposed to be writing, and it was time to get down to business.

SorceressI found a local life coach specializing in creative empowerment. In my complimentary phone session with her, I received what seemed like a staggering challenge: to create a table of contents for my book . . . within 24 hours. Pieces of the story had been floating around in my head for a while, and by the deadline, I was able to come up with 17 rough titles—which the coach correctly assessed as “more than rough” when she saw them. Exactly who was this sorceress who had beguiled me into action?

For my first in-person meeting with Ziva, I made sure to wear a collared shirt and freshly laundered jeans. She had looked rather professional in the photo on her Web site, and I wanted to appear to be taking my creative empowerment seriously. I felt immediately overdressed, however, as Ziva met me outside of her building sans footwear. I made a mental note to wear a T-shirt and tennis shoes next time (when, as it turned out, she went business casual).

IncenseI shouldn’t have been surprised by what I found inside Ziva’s condo, given that one of her titles is “intuitive coach.” As she opened the front door, I could smell incense burning. Ogling the extensive collection of mind/body/spirit books, I almost bumped into a draped reiki/massage table. Devotional art hung on the walls. Now, I wouldn’t call myself the New Age type; I am not “love and light” (at least not both at the same time). But the décor told me I was in the right place to develop a novel that had a metaphysical bent.

“How can I adjust my schedule to have more time to write?” “Should this material be presented in one, two, or three books?” “How much research do I have left to do?” A writer and her coach might tackle such questions analytically, discussing them at length and using up much of a 75-minute session. Or the coach could close her eyes, tune in to her guides, and share her psychic hit—informed by her extensive experience shepherding would-be authors. The latter system was working for me.

Spirit guideNear the end of our third in-person meeting, I noticed that Ziva was staring above and behind me. “You have a friend,” she stated. Glancing over my left shoulder, I saw an image of Jesus on the wall. I turned back to Ziva, bemused, and realized she was gazing not at the painting but at a being I could not see. Ziva said she perceived immense love coming from this smiling entity. “The being with you feels to be someone you knew, so a deceased loved one,” she explained. A warmth spread around my heart.

Ziva conveyed a message to me from my spirit friend: “Create characters as human beings.” The advice was apropos, as I had recently been struggling with the idea of portraying a Nazi officer as a real, sympathetic person. Ziva also sensed that angels and other guides were prompting me to tell my story. In fact, a popular intuitive had once told me that a group of guides, called “The Council,” was helping me with my writing.

Now that sounds like an audience for which you’d want to wear a collared shirt.

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