The Astrology of Writing
Astrology highlights where in our lives we are blocked, and how we can move forward, and if there’s ever a set of people that need help with blocks, it’s writers. So here is ‘The Astrology of Writing’, a set of 12 tips based on the archetypal signs of the zodiac, so that you may channel your celestial genius into literary gold.
Beginning to write is the hardest part. That blank screen staring you in the face, the crushing pressure of expectation.
It’s this expectation that slows us down. We need everything to be right before we start, in case our writing gives away something of ourselves that we’d rather not show.
But what exactly are you showing? Who are you? Whose perspective are you writing from?
Forget you are you for a minute, and put yourself in the shoes of the character, company, client you are writing for.
If you’re writing as yourself, even better, you get to choose who you are. The literary world’s your oyster.
Now think about what this character would say. How would they say it?
Once you’ve started, it’s all down to stamina.
Writing is work. It takes dedication. But just like running a marathon, if you’re thinking about the finish line before you’ve even started, you’re toast.
The beauty is in the process.
Relish the nouns and the verbs, the sounds of the vowels. Keep going.
Keep going until you can’t. Then stop. Don’t rush.
If you’ve ground to a halt, set your sights on something beautiful. Go outside, eat a snack or take a nap. Indulge.
Work hard, but don’t let it become you. A hungry writer can be a terrifying thing.
Any writer worth her salt knows that ideas are ten a penny.
Just like the internet, the inside of a writer’s head is filled with so many ideas, it’s hard to sift the gold from the clutter.
The more of these ideas you have, the less you can write. That may seem contrary, but it’s true.
Think about your brain like a factory. You put in thoughts, and out come words. Simple.
Except when you put in too many thoughts, the machine (your brain) can’t handle it, and everything shuts down. No more words.
The same is true if there’s a shortage on ideas. Not enough thoughts to put in, so out comes a big fat nothing. Both scenarios are pretty disastrous.
Recognise your levels. Do you need more gas, or is the system close to overload?
Why do we write?
Is it to communicate? To create something?
I think it’s to work ourselves out. To find out how we really feel.
If your writing lacks feeling, you may as well not write. It’s that simple.
Tap into that place where words don’t exist. That aching depth, the unconscious soul.
Then try to describe what you find there. Try to weave that feeling into your work so the reader feels what you feel and longs for every next word.
Work your magic on them until they’re bathed in the reflection of your words. Until it feels like home.
Your art, your passion, your flame. Is it hot enough?
Writing without fire will fizzle out and die.
So, what gets your bonfire burning? What makes your creative embers sizzle?
Write about that.
Do you feel the energy? The drama? When you write something, is it alive on the page, does it roar right off the screen?
Muster the courage to stand out. Lead your people into literary ecstasy with just the simple power of your words.
You’ve got it in you, I know you do.
There’s a system to good writing.
After all the creative energy has been tapped, it’s time to go back and edit. But not before the fires of inspiration have come back down to the ground. Create now. Edit later.
Being precise with your spelling and grammar is just being courteous to the reader. When a piece of writing is flawed, it distracts from the message and the reader’s spell is broken.
For it is certainly a type of magic, is writing. It can change reality. Convert a reader to a certain belief. Heal them even.
And most readers don’t even think about what they’re reading. They don’t ponder the structure and rules that lie behind every sentence. They’re simply carried along.
If all the tiny little parts are lined up the right way, you can take your reader on a journey and they won’t even know you did it.
Like every art, there is order amongst the chaos.
Artists can be known for their self-imposed solitude. But there is no life in stillness.
Get outside. Live. Laugh. Love.
Your personal experiences, your culture, your past romances. These all flavour your writing and give it a depth and beauty that can’t be found in solitude.
Even if you’re doing professional writing that requires little emotion, your experiences will still show through your words.
Life is filled with influences of one kind or another.
Learn to bring balance to your inner and outer realms.
While it may be admirable to work hard at shaping a world through writing, it’s no substitute for participation in the real thing.
The very idea of writing is to transform.
Whether you’re writing to transport someone to a fictional land, or to the state of mind where they’ll buy a certain product, the goal is to bend their reality to your whim.
Transformative writing is always subtle.
You don’t want your reader to know exactly what you plan. Make them think they got to this new reality by themselves, and that your writing was simply a passage that guided the way.
Turn the lead of the written word into somebody’s gold.
But gold is nothing without a desire for it.
Humans desire gold because it can give them power.
What do you have to offer that will make someone powerful? Make them desire it enough to transform into whatever you wish.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know” – Ernest Hemingway.
Here’s mine: We cannot create when we feel trapped.
Do you feel trapped? By your job? By your writing? By your life?
Here’s another true sentence: You are only trapped because you believe it. And another: The reason you can’t create is because you tell yourself you can’t.
So how can you write something true when you lie to yourself?
There’s a block in all of us that tells us we can only create under certain conditions – freedom, mostly. But freedom is an abstract concept that only you can grant yourself.
Where would you go if you were truly “free”?
Would it really help you to write? Or is there something else you are desperate to escape from?
Find the block, set yourself free.
When you write something, it usually comes as part of something bigger.
A chapter in a novel, a blog post, a press release.
These things are never enough by themselves. You need to plan your end goal.
Are you writing a book? Promoting a business? What do you want to achieve with your writing?
Even the act of writing a journal has a bigger goal in mind – to record your thoughts and work through your issues.
While you write your smaller pieces of the puzzle, it’s good to have the bigger picture in mind. This way you can stay on track all the way towards your finish line.
Writers are often solitary creatures, but people are vitally important to our craft.
Without people, we have no characters, no customers. We have no subject matter.
Even if you haven’t encountered another human person for days, you will always meet them in your writing, otherwise who is it you’re writing for?
With this in mind, take from these people.
Take their stories, their quirks, their mannerisms, and weave them into your writing. Let them change you.
Write for humans. Real life, varied and complicated humans.
Never underestimate the power of imagination.
Your imagination is so strong that if you don’t use it, it will spill out into other areas of your life. You don’t want this.
What you do want is writing that is original, and the only way to get original is to tap the imagination.
Use this mysterious tool to paint a portrait that has never before seen the light of day. Fill the reader’s ears with literary music.
Write your dreams and your fantasies.
Share your inner world with others, cos as soon as you do, you will be free.
If you’re into astrology, check out my online magazine, DisMystic, where I delve even deeper into these archetypes and a whole host of other mystic business.