Welcome! The intent of this daily writing tip column is,
largely, to share with all of you the approach to craft
and art that has made my career as satisfying as it
has been…and at this point in my life, for all of its ups
and downs, it feels just fine.

“Lifewriting,” the technique we’ll explore, is the art of
connecting your life and your work, so that every bit
of personal growth automatically leads to better,
more mature work. And that every story, novel,
or screenplay you write automatically helps you
understand your inner and outer worlds.

How can we do this? By using a characterization
structure that also mirrors the way we see ourselves,
and others. And by using a plot structure that not
only works for literature of all kinds, but also casts
light on the path of our days and years. The two
tools at the very core of Lifewriting, then, are the
yogic chakras (characterization) and Joseph
Campbell’s model of the Hero’s Journey (plot).
As powerful as these tools are separately, the
phenomenal, unexpected effect of combining
them cannot be overestimated.
So let’s begin.
The Chakras are a theoretical model of human
potential, the path of growth that we experience
from infancy to adulthood. This is expressed
metaphorically as seven “energy centers” in
the human body (according to Yogic
physiology/psychology) ranging up the spine.
In order, they represent survival, sexuality,
power, emotion, communication, intellect,
and spirit.

The first, survival, is called “Muladhara” in
Sanscrit, and supposedly sits at the base of
the spine, between the anal sphincter and
the perineum. It is the seat of intrinsic
energy, and most importantly for a writer,
it is the home of our survival drive.
Whenever you meet someone who is
unmotivated, what you are actually
seeing is someone who
1) has no clear-cut goals.
2) Has not connected their dreams with
their survival needs
3) Has no belief that they can accomplish
their dreams.

Each of these is a separate disease, each
requires different “medicine” to heal.
Remember: a good story is about conflict,
both internal and external. The attempts
of a human being to heal wounds, to grow,
to express himself, to be true to his
essence in a hostile environment…these
are the conflicts that create great drama.

Well, that’s all today…more tomorrow!


Author's Bio: 

NY Times bestselling author, life coach, hypnotist and martial artist Steven Barnes created the Lifewriting system of personal development to help artists find balance, success, and health in their lives. He can be reached at: www.diamondhour.com, and steven@diamondhour.com