It’s a year now since my first book Web of Life was published and during the last year I’ve been nurturing it like a baby.
No one warns you what it’s like to write a book, or maybe they would have done if I’d ever thought to ask perhaps. The reason I didn’t would be that the book wasn’t really planned, it seemed to take on its own life and in doing that to write itself.
It all began when I was working with the Medicine Wheel, or rather trying to work with it. When I was with others the wheel made sense, the idea of ceremony and healing, teachers and lessons seemed worth working with. When I was alone though it was a completely different story. None of it stayed with me and I found myself chasing the ideas that had seemed so important. Eventually I realised that none of it fit me at all. It was not my culture and so had no meaning for me although the power and ideas behind it did. Then the discovery that different Native American tribes had differently Medicine Wheels suddenly made it all make sense and unbeknownst to me the seeds for Web of Life were sown.
Alongside this I met a new guide, one who told me he was to help me with my writing.The key word here is HELP, as I was reminded over and over again during the writing of the book, although at this point I still had no thoughts of writing anything. Then one day I found myself playing with ideas about creating something that I could use to create my own type of Medicine Wheel, although as I’m not Native American it wouldn’t be a wheel but a web. The idea then began to grow that if this could work for me, maybe I could create something that could be used by anyone, regardless of their background, culture or beliefs. From this the book began to take grow.
Then as I worked I discovered that my guide would sow an idea, I would journey, explore then suddenly it would click and the next part of the book could be written. Often I discovered something for myself then having done this would stumble across an article or a website that reinforced what I had just discovered. It was clear all the way through that I had to find the answers for myself before I was given confirmation.
This is completely fitting as Web of Life is about finding your own path and the guides or teachers that can help you on it. Everyone that works with the book finds their own unique path, creates their own web to work in, connects with their own teachers. Had I used the words or ideas of others instead of finding the path on my own then Web of Life could not help others to do the same.
Many was the time during the two years or so that I was writing Web of Life that it lay dormant on the work top, neglected and unloved. This was important I later discovered, as it was during these times that my own understanding grew, as I continued to seek answers and understanding through journeying and through continuing to explore my own path. Understanding came slowly at times and was often the end result of months of work when suddenly things would make sense and there was a ‘Eureka’ moment.
By the time the book was at a stage where I needed to hand it over to readers to trial and test I knew that it could not be finished until this was done. So again I waited this time for feedback from others. Another gestation period it turned out, for by the time the feedback came I had had plenty of time to work with the web and the cards that are made as part of the work, for this is a book of exercises and activity, and in doing so I had learnt new ways of creating a path using the cards.
All the time I was writing I held onto the belief that if it was worth publishing I would find a publisher. The trouble was I had to be brave, find the courage to send in a draft manuscript, to hand over the very thing that I had been creating, giving birth to and let it see the harsh light of day. Fortunately I delivered it into safe hands and it was lovingly received and brought into being by the wonderful team at Moon Books.
And this is where the nurturing really began rather than ended as I had naively expected. Like a baby taking its first steps it was sent out for review. It was nourished through articles that I then wrote for magazines and book clubs, through its own Facebook page, through a book launch, readings and talks and still the nurturing goes on for like any creation it needs my energy to combine with its own energy to keep it alive and I suspect like any child it always will.