Connecting With the ‘Inner Voice’
A wise English professor told me once “writing is thinking.”
And so I’ve learned myself: Writing, as with any form of artistic expression, is a direct connection to the soul. Thus, the act of writing is, on a spiritual level, either engaged or not engaged. Clearly communicating a voice of inner spiritual creativity depends entirely on the mental state of the writer.
Because of my job, I’ve learned to write as craft, and that craft is distinctly different than that of my inner voice speaking through typed words. It’s a difference in thinking.
With this in mind, a helpful question might be how does one get in touch with their ‘nous,’ or inner voice. Personally, I’ve discovered creating art is often a good jump start. That could be a sketch, painting, meditation on a beautiful musical piece, or any number of methods. Once connected and thinking clearly, the words flow.
God speaks to me through light, and my perception of it. Many times in my life I’ve been captivated, stopped in my tracks, by a single ray of sunlight. It is during those times God speaks to me the loudest.
Creating art connects to that same emotional space.
I say this with a caveat: As with any writer, this connection didn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of intentional practice and meditation — free writing, engaged reading, poetry, prayer, and various other engagements.
As with anyone, I do struggle to find that inner voice. Most often, it’s because I’m trying to prove a point, or nail down a specific thought as opposed to simply accepting what comes to mind. We cannot reach God through our own strength. God’s Spirit resides within humans; thus, we must turn inward and listen.
Jesus did this often, escaping to the hills to pray. He accepted his emotions, and didn’t seek to suppress them, as seen in the Garden.
I am not, however, Jesus. And in those times when I cannot find my nous I revert to writing as a craft, vomiting text as work. Later, when I’ve once again connected emotionally, I return to the writing for a second edit.
I add as a side note for discussion: I do not believe in so-called ‘writer’s block.’ I’m a strong believer that there is always a way around the block; inspiration is always there; sometimes, it just takes work to find.