Writing Down Deep; an Alchemy of the Writing Life (Paperback)

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Writing Down Deep; an Alchemy of the Writing Life, has been a huge labour of love over the last three years.

Many of the ideas have been trialed in blog articles and in online courses, and have been honed and rewritten for the book. There's also a huge amount of new material, reflections and writing prompts to help you become the writer you want to be with your own story and values.

Writing Down Deep; an Alchemy of the Writing Life is a book for writers who want to dive deeply into their creative flow and into the extraordinary power of writing to affect individuals and the world. Whether you are a blogger writing articles, a memoirist, poet or novelist, writing is magical, it offers perspective shifts, leaps of imagination and connections that are vital to how we live at every level. The world is storied and those who tell stories of every kind, have a unique role and responsibility. The premise is that story (including poetry, fiction and nonfiction) is vital to human survival. It is so important that storytellers do well to become congruent with their tales.

This book is for the wild idealists and alchemists of the imagination who believe that writing is so powerful that it should change us as we push the boundaries of our craft. This book is for those who see writing as an act of radical spirituality, in the broadest sense of 'spiritual' as the antonym of egotistical hubris, rather than as the opposite of 'material'.

The book is a companion on the quest and, as such, you can read it straight through or slowly; make the rhythm suit you. It has five main sections that are interspersed around shorter, seasonal sections.

  1. Section 1, 'Craving the Writing Life', is an introduction to our motivation as writers and the power of story.
  2. Section 2, 'The Mind-set of the Writer', explores how we build on this to establish an evolving practice of writing, from how we keep in touch with the subconscious writer to how we keep on writing and improving.
  3. This leads into Section 3, 'The Evolution of Your Writing Process', in which we'll examine more of the mechanics of writing and deepening our writing lives.
  4. Section 4, 'Embodying the Writing Life', takes all of this and anchors it in the physical world and in your own embodiment of your writing.
  5. Section 5, 'Writing the Soul', looks at how creativity, imagination, wonder and personal mythology transform both the work we do and the people we become as writers, body and soul.
  6. Section 6, 'Writing Your Story', brings the themes of the book together: what story do you want to write? What story do you want to become?

The book is packed with prompts, inspiration and writing exercises. These are not mechanical or 'how to' exercises but aimed at challenging us to dig deeply into our writing processes and writing lives. Woven throughout are seasonal pauses to help you design your own writing retreats.

You can read a blog about the genesis of the new imprint and the book.

Author biography

Photo of Jan FortuneJan Fortune was born in Middlesbrough and read theology at Cambridge. She completed a doctorate in feminist theology and has worked as a teacher, priest (ordained at the first ordination of women to the CofE) and charity director. She is the founding editor of Cinnamon Press and has edited around 300 books, led numerous creative writing courses in the UK, Spain and France, and mentored writers who have gone on to publication. Her previous publications include non-fiction titles in alternative education and parenting; the novels: The Standing Ground, Dear Ceridwen and Coming Home; and four poetry collections, including Slate Voices (a collaborative collection with Mavis Gulliver), Stale Bread & Miracles, Edge (a companion to Adam Craig's Year W), and Turn/Return, a pamphlet inspired by Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards. Her most work is the Casilda Trilogy of novels, This is the End of the Story, A Remedy for All Things and For Hope Is Always Born, and their new follow-up, Saoirse's Crossing.

She lives in the wild wet foothills of the Moelwyns in North Wales, beneath the abandoned slate village of Cwmorthin.