An excerpt from my upcoming book The Synchronicity of Love!
And a salute to all my fellow artists, writers and creatives – may you too overcome self-doubt and find the courage to share.
Chapter 115 : Fall City
“Nearly two decades ago, I had the strangest experience. I had a full book “downloaded” into me in a split second. The book was entitled Fall City. I knew all the characters, the setting, how the story opened, what would happen, and how it would all end.
“I was tremendously inspired and determined to put the story on paper. The downloaded book was set in Fall City—an actual small town about thirty minutes east of where I live. On my next day off from work, I drove out there and took detailed notes about the town.
“I was so psyched and excited to write my first book! I raced home, and with as much care as I could muster, cranked out eight pages on the first day.
“I was so pleased with my first effort! I’d never written a fictional story before.
“The story was about a rich doctor from Seattle whose wife had died. He was lonely and decided to sell his practice and buy the old Fall City Inn perched on the banks of the Snoqualmie River where he used to steelhead fish in the winter. He let his intuition guide him and remodeled the old Inn into a BNB. He only had four rooms, but strangers from all over the world would come for a weekend, and the doctor would be their host and do all the cooking. But the old Inn had a certain magic, and the guests who came would have powerful dreams they would share and that would draw everyone together in a sort of magical, loving, and healing synchronicity. I even wrote myself into the story calling myself “John Payne.”
“After writing my eight pages, I went to bed with a happy smile on my face. But when I woke up in the morning and read what I had written the day before I HATED IT! I was full of fear and revulsion. It felt like I had gotten drunk the night before and spent the night making love to a beautiful woman only to discover she was someone else entirely the next morning, and I was lying completely naked next to her. I was definitely having what I later learned is called a “vulnerability hangover.”
“For a first try at writing a book, the writing seemed OK to me. But it felt like I was revealing too much about myself and my inner world in the writing of the story. Over and over, I would read it and be horrified. It felt like those dreams where you are walking down a crowded city street completely naked with everyone staring at you. I was terrified. I hid the story so no one could see it.
“I never wrote another page of that story. But in my sort of slow-motion way, I began to heal my inner creative artist.
“A friend suggested I read The Artist’s Way, a twelve-step recovery program for recovering one’s inner creative artist and muse. I joined an Artist’s Way group. It was the first time I had ever shared anything I had written. I tried writing true stories, fiction, and poems; I tried drawing and painting. It helped tremendously, and I have reread The Artist’s Way cover to cover and worked the program on multiple occasions.
“I often get impatient with change—in myself and in others. But something so natural as being creative or artistic was so deeply buried in ancient eons of staying in hiding that bringing it back out again has been long and slow and arduous.
“I recall Michael Roads, author of Talking with Nature, stumbling into the gift of being able to communicate with all of Nature. But he was an impatient and impulsive Aries and had been a crusty, cranky old farmer and could not see how he could possibly share this “gift” with anyone. He could not see the value in it, nor could he stomach the idea that others would think he was strange. I thought it was incredibly cool. But he battled fear and self-doubt about sharing his gift for many decades.
“It has taken me a very long time to get up the courage to share my life and my stories here in this book.
But it’s all good. It’s helped me develop patience and compassion in healing and transformation. It’s taught me that self-doubt and fear in healing and integrating new parts of ourselves is full of great joy and sometimes great difficulties. Certainly, everyone I have ever known who has transformed themselves and grown in all the most positive ways has also encountered self-doubt and fear about one’s new identity, and all this struggle to assume a new identity can also be incredibly difficult on relationships.
“Tonight, I am rereading the eight pages I wrote back in 2003. Fall City. Even in the mere eight pages I wrote, I can see patterns that played out in my life and the identity changes that were begging to happen and indeed did happen. It’s a good story. It’s a true story.
Fall City. A very precious downloaded book that I never completed. Today, after eighteen long years, I read the story not with revulsion but instead with happy sad tears of gratitude”.
—-excerpt from The Synchronicity of Love by John David Latta
© John David Latta