by Alissa Lukara
(c) 2013 Eugenia Talbott
Early on my journey to write a memoir, when I did not yet know how to write one, one of the first lessons I learned was this:
When you recognize and say yes to the call to write a memoir, the universe – the divine – responds and sends you the support you need to write it.
No matter how meager your “yes” is to write a memoir, no matter that the time is not yet right, no matter how afraid or vulnerable the writing makes you feel, no matter whether or not you know how to write a memoir or have the talent to write your story, your whisper of a yes, your unspoken, but “authentic heart desire to write of a yes, your mumble of a yes, your hope to share what you learned and be of service of a yes – that yes is enough to unleash the creative power of forces seen and unseen. They will support you in any myriad of ways to see you through the process of starting, writing and completing your book.
The Universe Responds
That response from the universe to your yes to write your memoir (or novel or other form) may come as a surprise. It may not come in the form you expect, in accordance with your agenda for it, in a step-by-step writing manual or in the time frame you want it to happen. It may not, will not keep you planted in your comfort zone. Instead, it may propel you in starts and stops, in baby steps and grand leaps, while lost in mazes and navigating on clear paths.
When I first revealed a shimmer of a yes to write my memoir, Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul, one of the first supports for my creative expression arrived in the form of a white horse, a spirit horse.
“I see a beautiful white horse with a flowing mane, almost unicorn-like, on your right side,” a spiritual healer I had started working with two years into my journey to heal CFS and childhood abuse issues said to me. I had told her about my desire to write a memoir about the healing and transformation taking place. But this healer had no idea that in the first months of the illness journey, the image of the white horse had already come to me in a meditation, specifically as a symbol of my creative writing. I had bought a white horse statue and placed it and photographs and drawings of white horses by my writing desk.
“The horse has to do with your imagination,” the healer continued. “When you want to launch your writing, call this energy forth. The white horse helps bring forth archetypal awareness, the interplay of characters and creative symbology. Sit on the horse and hold it lightly with one hand. There’s no need for a saddle, bridle or reins. The horse is an aspect of your beingness that wishes only to speed your progress, to bring the unlimited into the limited. Ride it with total love and faith. It can take you anywhere you want to go.”
Even though I had been a freelance writer before I had to stop of the CFS, I explained to the healer that I had had no concentration or energy to write or do much of anything other than seek healing since CFS had come into my life. She assured me that writing remained important to my fulfillment,, that I would write again and be called upon to speak.
The White Horse as Writing Ally
With the impetus of this healing session, I called in the white horse before I wrote and found it helped me shift from every day consciousness into creative consciousness. My commitment to say yes to write the memoir grew. I began writing 15 minutes each day, which was all the concentration I had, about the events I hoped would become the memoir about the healing journey. A couple months into the process, though, writing about abuse memories and illness left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I was still too much in the throes of my healing process. I was in the story with no healing or end in sight. Even though I had said yes, even though I wanted to write, I did not yet have the distance from my subject matter, let alone the energy, to write the book.
Instead, with the white horse as my creative ally, I kept my yes, my intention to write the memoir tucked in my heart and honored that yes the best I could. Knowing now in my deep heart that I would someday write the memoir, I recorded my healing process on a recorder. It was like a “spoken” journal I would use when I was ready to begin writing. Continuing to call on the white horse for support, I also wrote in a journal about my healing experiences without thought to editing or form.
This process allowed me to capture the emotions of situations and experiences, the conversations, the spiritual and psychological insights, the physical details of place and time, the dreams. This also allowed catharsis and immediacy of expression. I had no pressure to craft what I wrote into scenes, to edit or revise and rewrite, or to make the choices of what to show and what to leave out that are involved in creating a book. And in those moments, I also knew that no one else would read what I wrote.
Again and again, I had to give up my agenda and fantasy of what saying yes to writing a memoir would look and feel like and do what I could do in the moment.
And seeing those images of the white horse on my desk, feeling the energy of the spirit animal, reminded me daily of my creative intention, helped me tap into my creative expression even if I was not yet “writing” my memoir. Over the years, it helped amp the volume of that initial, barely audible “Yes, I’d like to write about my experience, to tell my story,” to a full blown, megaphone of a yes, a true calling.
Ready to Say Yes to Writing?
What about you?
What unexpected inner and outer supports have shown up for you to help you hold the vision and intention to write your book? What spirit or human allies or symbols of your creativity?
Have you, too, said yes to your book, to your memoir (or novel) –in some tangible way that has meaning for you? Or yes, to whatever you are called to do in your life?
Do it now. Say it out loud. Yes. Let it vibrate to your core and send its ripples out into the universe to open the pathways for the support you need, your version of the white horse, to write and complete your memoir or novel.
Get on its wide back, throw your arms in the air and ride like the wind.
I would love to hear what support has shown up for you when you have said yes to your memoir or other writing projects. It doesn’t matter if you have completed your book yet – or even started writing. These supports often serve as reminders of our callings as writers, too.
Please share them here, in the comment section (who knows whom else you will inspire) – or share any response you have to this article. If you don’t want to share in public, feel free to email your comments to me.
And if you like this article, I would greatly appreciate if you would like or share it on Facebook or tweet it, pin it, email it to writer friends.
A Note about Alissa’s Synchronicity with the White Horse Painting – and the Start of a Memoir Writing Series. My story does not end there. The arrival of the beautiful horse image that graces this article turned out to be another sign to me that the universe does respond when you say yes to writing. Just like the healer in the story above had no idea the white horse had any meaning to me when she mentioned it in our healing session, neither did Eugenia Talbott, the artist, know the white horse had special meaning to me when she sent me the painting for possible inclusion on the Transformational Writers blog.
I love synchronicities like that. Her painting inspired this blog posting. (Read more about Eugenia’s art below.)
Writing it has now inspired me to write a memoir series on my experience (and lessons learned) of starting, writing and publishing my memoir that can help you on your journey to write a memoir, novel or creative nonfiction book. Look for those postings over the coming weeks.
And…you asked for it….I listened. I am also launching an online memoir writing course, Writing for Real: Writing Memoirs To Heal, Inspire and Transform. (Email Alissa at write (@) transformationalwriters.com to find out more about this workshop that begins April 17, 2013. Link goes live later this week. )
About Alissa Lukara. Want support to begin — and complete — your memoir or novel? Dive in and here for Alissa Lukara’s online memoir writing class, Write for Real: Writing Memoirs to Heal, Inspire and Transform. Or dip in a toe and register here for the free eCourse Alissa offers, Write a Book — Transform Lives: 7 Key Stages on the Writer’s Journey. Alissa Lukara, the author of the poetic memoir, Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul, supports you to write, publish and market your memoir, novel or creative nonfiction book through online writing workshops and retreats, writing coaching, developmental editing and speaking.
About the Painting. I send a shout out of gratitude to Eugenia Talbott, a talented artist and writer (who recently completed her novel, Exotic Calls) for sending me this painting of a white horse, a stallion. Eugenia is a local creative colleague and part of the Transformational Writers community. To explore more of Eugenia’s gorgeous fine art paintings, including many of wild and domestic animals. visit her artist website, http://www.TalbottStudios.com.
A portion of this article is adapted from Alissa Lukara’s memoir, Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul.