I had the pleasure of attending Tom Bird’s Write Your Bestseller in a Weekend retreat. I, like many people walking this Earth, have had a book inside me. I’ve had the formal book proposal completed for years, yet no book written, only a few chapters.
That’s because my life is very busy and carving out the time to write is more of a luxury than a necessity. Yet it was and is essential for me to share my story, to birth this book in order for me to heal from past wounds and move forward in life. What could be more necessary than that?
Tom believes that those who feel they have a book inside them are receiving a call from God and it’s his or her duty to answer that call.
His method is simple, yet powerful. He connects people to the Divine Author Within (God, Love, Source) whatever you choose to call it, and in doing so bypasses the ego excuses and allows the words to flow. He does this through beginning with a relaxation exercise and following with a subliminal track that is full of affirmations such as “You are an excellent writer. You are meant to write.” This kept us in a right brain state and the words came through.
I have this nasty of habit of editing as I write, which has always kept me in a Left Brain analytic state rather than the heart space where the words flow.
The retreat is roughly three days total over four days. It began on a Thursday afternoon. Tom addressed us briefly, before going into the meditation and then our first writing segment, which was done first long hand in a big, unlined notebook.
We went through 15 minute writing intervals, counting our words at the end of each interval to ensure we were in the connected state. Tom looks for a certain number of words, roughly 1500/hour to show that the Divine Author Within is doing the writing rather than our ego personality.
We continued to do the 15 minute writing intervals, drinking plenty of water and snacking on healthy, nourishing snacks along the way. It’s not an easy process. Tom wants us to get to the point of exhaustion in order to get our book out in a few days.
He instructed us that we would know when our book was finished. A few people were done writing their books by Friday afternoon. Granted these are not War and Peace in length and thankfully so, as today’s world doesn’t have the time or attention span to go through that much back story and facts.
In fact the average length of a book today is 35,000 words.
I finished writing around 10 am on Saturday morning and moved into the revision stage. During revision, the first thing to do is to arrange the book into a screenplay format, which appeals to today’s reader, and arrange into four areas of emotion.
Once the book is arranged properly to take the reader on the journey with you, it’s time to massage the writing by adding facts, elaborating in areas and emphasizing the emotions. Spelling and grammar corrections are made prior to having an editor work on it. This is usually done outside the retreat using the same method of relaxation and subliminal tracks in the background. You want to revise from the same Divine Author Within state or you risk letting ego come in with critical judgments.
The entire process is quite fascinating and remarkable. It works!
What I especially liked was how Tom was in the background. Unobtrusive and observant. He offered energetic support and guidance as needed. He’d work directly with anyone who was struggling to be in the Divine Author Within state and knew intuitively what we as a group needed.
Everyone had written their book and had it organized, and many had an excellent start on their next one by the time we wrapped up on Sunday morning.
I especially loved how Tom shared that we will want to give him credit for this and he humbly put that credit where it deserved to be, on each and every one of us who had the courage to show up and allow our books to come through. We did the work. We made the commitment. We wrote. We healed. We birthed our books!
I look forward to the next steps in my book’s journey of revisions, editing and publishing. Not to mention the healing journey that will continue to unfold for me, and others as they are drawn to my book.