Writing a book can be such a lonely and agonizing venture full of “where do I start?” and “what do I really have to say?” and “who really cares to hear my story?” Add to that the inner work that is required as one sits down to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and it’s enough to freeze you in your lumbar-supported writing chair. Anyone I know who has written a book, especially a memoir, has had to do that tough inner work all the while battling excruciating bouts of resistance to “applying ass to chair”, and most have had to do it alone.
When I started my practice as a Book Shaman I learned as much as my clients about what it really took to tell their stories and I was able to facilitate and witness their deep transformation in the process. As my clients wrote their memoirs they each had the same outcome: yes, they had a full, developmentally-edited manuscript all but ready for submission to agents, but more importantly they had healed thirty, forty-five and, in one case, sixty years worth of deep pain and suffering. That had not been what I expected to happen. At all.
I’d known going into this work that my devout love of reading—in all genres—and my passion for all forms of writing, along with my otherwise totally unmarketable Bachelors degree in English/Creative Writing and my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, would marry the literary and the consumable and be invaluable in guiding people through the writing process and in helping them to learn the actual craft of penning powerful stories.
I’d also been certain that my years of in-the-trenches work with authors and entrepreneurs in the self-help arena would enable me to show them how to build their platforms and create businesses that filled their souls and fed their book sales.
Not to mention that I’d helped authors to hit the big lists, including the New York Times bestseller list, and I knew even though the lists are never guaranteed, I could use that experience to help my clients to give their books the best possible chance of success in the world.
Yeah…and despite all that knowing, these were the least important parts of the work we did together. To see my clients write and then re-write the painful core stories that had been plaguing them for years and that had caused them so much heartache; to hear them say they had finally healed, well… that was the juice; the unexpected gift that came out of the process.
I’ve never liked the word “healer” even when it’s been used to describe me. It implies that I have some kind of power that others do not. I much prefer to say that I facilitate healing and that I’m a powerful compassionate witness to the force already within you to heal. I prefer to say that I am a meaning maker and pattern recognizer. I prefer to say that I can see and hold all of the seemingly disparate threads in your writing and can help you to weave them into the most beautiful tapestry you can imagine.