Launching Writing Down Deep

There are so many creative writing books in the world, but Writing Down Deep is neither a ‘how to’ manual nor a writing biography. It’s about the story we become when we take the writing process deeply to heart and it has been my consuming passion for the last three years, summing up much of what I believe about the vitality and urgency of writing, especially in difficult times.

There are two questions that recur and intertwine through the book:

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What story do you want to write?

What story do you want to become?

Writing is an extraordinary process. Inwardly, it connects us to our subconscious, to the power of langauge, to our deepest roots and soul; outwardly it allows us to witness, to give voice, to embody radical generosity and connection.

It was incredibly inspiring to launch the book in Greenwich at an event hosted by Irena Hill of in-words I was interviewed by Rowan Fortune of Rowan Tree Editing and we had a fantastic audience of reeders and writers who kept the conversation going with intelligent and perceptive questions, convicing me even more that we live in times hungry for a new story; new myths to offer us ways to be in the world.

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This is what Irena said about the event:

Digging deep, letting the story take you, becoming your story, not being bogged down by ‘end gaining’, writing with joy and freedom, being generous to (and curious about) yourself and your characters, using exercises and journalling…

I for one will definitely read the book and take Jan’s advice!

And you can listen to an excerpt of the interview here

Writing Down Deep is a journey through that process. Using journalling exercises, prompts and seasonal writing retreats (which can be done at home or anywhere in 20–30 minutes a day at intervals through the seasons), the book dives deeply into the alchemiy of the writing life: what we crave from it; what we bring to it, how we embody our writing; how we intereact with the stories we write emotionally and spiritually (in the widest sense) and how writing can transform us.

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We have one fragile, beautiful and priceless life. We can squander it. We can choose not to live from values or connection. But if we do choose to become a different story, then it takes a lot of courage and we need nurture and connection along the way. We need to cultivate kind and generous souls, towards ourselves as much as towards everyone else and life itself.

Asking these questions–

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What story do you want to write?

What story do you want to become?

— is about being on this path of radical compassion and connectedness.

Becoming a different story

Thank you for reading — if you’d like to join writers who are diving deeply into the writing life and making transformations, sign up to my email list. You’ll also find free courses on my site. While you’re there, take a look at my book Writing Down Deep: an alchemy of the writing life.

Written by

Editor, author, feminist & part-time nomad. Helping others develop their writing life and practice. Blog @

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