It isn’t unusual for artists and writers—even experienced and successful ones—to pour heart and soul into a precious creative project, seeing it nearly to completion, only to abandon it. Have you done that before? This week, artist, author, and speaker Licia Berry shares her personal story of recognizing the abandonment of one of her recent creative projects.
My Book, My Daughter
by Licia BerryWould you tend to a lone or lost crying child? I’ve asked myself this question thousands of times over the years—not because I doubted whether I would actually pick up a lost or lost crying child if I found one who needed tending…OF COURSE, I would, as would most of us with a heart! No, the reason I have asked myself this question so many times is because I have abandoned parts of myself that were alone and crying. Parts of myself that were inner children, that needed healing, that needed to be heard. And recently, I realized that I had abandoned my 2016 bestseller I Am Her Daughter – The Healing Path to a Woman’s Power. You see, I did all the things an author is supposed to do…I did the back-breaking work of living the material, then the laborious effort of writing it over years, editing and re-editing, publishing, and marketing it on Mother’s Day weekend to raise it to best-seller status…and then I collapsed. I walked away. I went to France for six weeks on a solo pilgrimage, on the hunt for Black Madonnas. When I returned, I led the I Am Her Daughter Retreat in Santa Fe New Mexico, along with other travel commitments. Multiple creative projects that I’d put on the backburner came crowding forward, clamoring for my attention. I began the sorting process in an attempt to line them up so I could tend to them. Like hungry children, they all wanted to be fed NOW. Soon becoming overwhelmed, I finally turned to tended to myself, getting quiet with my inner vision and exploring my frustration. That’s when I noticed that beyond all the noisy kids pushing into me, there was a lone little girl off to my left, maybe two and a half years old, looking around as if she was waiting for someone. She seemed anxious and a little afraid as if she just realized she’d become separated from her mommy. In a blinding moment of clarity, I realized that this little girl was my book, I Am Her Daughter, and that I had abandoned her. My initial push to complete, publish, and market the book accomplished, I had turned my back and left her to fend for herself. Aghast, swift as a lightning bolt, the mother in me went over IMMEDIATELY and picked that child up into my arms. I comforted and placated her, wiping away tears of relief from her sweet urchin face, and apologized for having left her alone for these several months. My resolve to recommit to the book became solid as I saw her smile and felt her relax in my arms. The next thing I knew, she transformed into the book with its beautiful deep indigo cover, laying in my hands. In the real world, my commitment is to speak, write, and shout from the rooftops about I Am Her Daughter. All of the effort I put into living, writing, and having the courage to publish my book truly deserves to be honored. Reenergized and resolute, I will indeed champion this important piece of work as I would one of my children. And like a proud mama, I can give my creative work the love and promotion that it is due.
As artists and writers develop their unique voice and learn the craft of writing, they travel a journey of highs and lows, navigating often confusing, sometimes frustrating emotions and behaviors. These highs and lows correspond with identifiable stages and cycles in the natural creative process. Once an author can pinpoint and understand which phase they are in, they can better manage the process to avoid fallow times and to make the most of periods filled with inspiration and great production.
Do you have a project, or projects, you abandoned when it/they were seemingly done or almost complete?
Licia Berry is the featured guest on this month’s CONVERSATIONS Around the Writer’s Table, Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 7 p.m. We will continue the discussion about the cycles of the creative process and how writers can manage them. This is a FREE call in the Author Education Series and you can receive reminders and the call-in details by signing up HERE.
Author, Artist, Speaker, Women’s Advocate, and Ancestral Healer Licia (pronounced LEE-SHA) Berry is known the world over as The Guide to the Frontier Inside. She has a passionate belief in women’s innate resilience and unique ability to lead humanity into a better world. Licia’s ongoing quest to nurture women’s inner trust and empowerment has led her to teach and mentor women to claim and walk in true strength on their unique life path since 2001. Writing on such juicy themes of women’s issues, resilience, ancestral intelligence, consciousness, creative approaches to whole-brain development, leading a spirit-led life, and the Mother Wound, her words have impacted seekers around the globe since she was first published in 1998. Her 2016 bestselling book I Am Her Daughter: The Healing Path to a Woman’s Power examines the personal, cultural and global Mother Wound for the purposes of healing and evolution. With deep devotion to the calling to our Tribe, Licia’s work provides a path to belonging, connection, and well-being.
Learn more about Licia Berry:Website: liciaberry.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liciaberryauthor Twitter: @Liciaberry YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5t9j6m_P9_Xj2cqMyBbr0Q
Gina Edwards is a retreat leader, a certified creativity coach, and a book editor. She is also a writer, so she’s intimately familiar with the challenges and elation that come with being one.
She supports all writers—published and aspiring—who want to write as an act of courageous and necessary self-expression.
Walking the writer’s path hand-in-hand with her clients and students, she helps them establish a writing practice and define a creative life on their own terms.