Writing Into Your Soul

with Albert Flynn DeSilver

The Question

How much do you write and what do you write about?

Have you ever thought about it as a way to access your inner truth?

Many people say that writing has saved their lives and yet often we might feel like we’re not a born writer or we don’t know where to start. My guest this week specialises in helping people use writing to access their innermost truths and fall in love with themselves in the process.

If you’ve been holding off on a writing passion or want to go deeper into exploring your own imagination, this wonderful episode with the poet Albert Flynn DeSilver is for you.

Our Guest

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Albert Flynn DeSilver

Poet & Writing Coach

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an American poet, memoirist, novelist, speaker, and workshop leader. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Colorado in 1991 and an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1995. His work has appeared in more than 100 literary journals worldwide including ZYZZYVA, New American Writing, Hanging Loose, Jubilat, Exquisite Corpse, Jacket (Australia), Poetry Kanto (Japan), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), and many others.

Albert is the founder of Writing as a Path to Awakening, which is about an embodied inter-connected approach to creativity and writing—helping us reignite the joy, fun, spontaneity, and wisdom in our practice and process of writing. Writing as a Path to Awakening is a workshop and retreat series, interactive book project, and online course experience.

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The Talk

This episode is all about the power of the written word to take us out of our heads and into our hearts. Done properly it can be an incredibly transformative exercise not just for our imaginations but also for healing and personal storytelling.

Albert’s book ‘Writing As a Path to Awakening’ is a soulful treatise and instruction manual on just that. In it he says the best writing comes from a source beyond the thinking mind. But how do we access that source?

“We must first look inside ourselves and be willing to touch that raw emotional core at the heart of a deeper creativity,” In this episode we talk about how to use meditation to cultivate true depth in your writing—so your words reveal layers of profound emotional insight and revelation that inspire and move your readers.

Writing calls one to fully engage our mind’s cognitive powers, while meditation asks us to let go of thinking and storytelling. Though these two practices may seem incompatible, Albert teaches us that they can be powerfully complimentary.

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The Questions

  • I think your path into writing is one that a lot of people can draw a lot of inspiration from particularly when they have little confidence or have been putting it off for a while. Could you talk a little bit about the early days of your creative pursuits and how writing emerged as your chosen path?
  • What gave you confidence and inspiration to keep pursuing writing despite a lot of rejection on the early days? Did you feel pressure to adopt a certain style or did it instead make you look further inward to find yourself?
  • In the early days of teaching people, how important do you think it is to emphasise a ‘process’ orientation to writing vs an ‘outcome’ orientation. So that people don’t get deflated by not feeling like they are ‘a writer’ to begin with? (the term ‘emerging writer’)
  • I think one of the most profound realisations at the start of the book is this idea that writing can move you from your idea of your story to this unlimited field of potential. Can you talk a bit more about what you mean by that and why its so important?
  • Early on in the book you emphasise a large amount of reading as part of the writing process. Why is that so important to the writing process and enthusiast?
  • One of the deep themes in the book is about writing from intuition and from our inner truth. Which practices / experiences were seminal for you in going deeper and what do you think it was about them that made it so?
  • In the book there is a deep intertwinement of meditation and writing with some very beautiful exercises…have you found other complementary ways to go into silence / intuition / embodied states and then write from that place?
  • In the book you talk about writing your way to enchantment. Which reminded me of an earlier quote in the book which said “Writing is an expression of this basic embodied principle of holding a reverence for all life.” Do you see this transition in your students and workshop participants? That they fall more into reverence with themselves through writing?
  • Imagination is a key part of the process of course. There are a lot of beautiful suggestions in the book for re-firing your writing imagination. What are your favourites?
  • What books and quotes have inspired you?

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