Becoming a Writer

Becoming a Writer

How My Hero Turned Me into a Writer
By Rahima Warren

Once upon a time, I was a psychotherapist, minding my own business, and my clients’. Then one day, I wrote a little story in my journal. The idea was to write down this inner character’s story so he’d stop bugging me. Big mistake!

That little story opened the floodgates. Eight years later, I’ve retired from my practice and have written a long, dark, deep and healing fantasy trilogy. I think he’s finally happy. Well, no, he’s still bugging me to get this epic published. I’m working on that.

How’d this happen, you ask? It wasn’t my idea! This character – his name is Kyr, by the way – had quite a journey to go on. The only way he could do it was to take over my life and turn me into a writer. When the floodgates opened, a rush of intense, exciting creative energy poured forth and swept me along.

Fortunately for me (and perhaps unfortunately for my clients), I didn’t want to do anything but write Kyr’s story and find out what happened next. I had no plan. I just wrote what he showed me. His story started out so dark that I was sure I would never show it to anyone, ever! But writing it was so much fun, I had to keep on. I had to find out what happened!

From a certain angle, it seems like my whole life was preparation to write his story. In one version or another, Kyr has been lurking in my fantasy life since I was in the second grade. After decades of therapy, women’s groups, and personal growth work; after becoming a transpersonal counselor and working with clients for twenty years; after writing journals full of reflections, poetry and dreamwork; after many adventures, vision quests and spiritual awakenings; and finally, after becoming an Expressive Arts therapist, I was ready. I’d learned to trust the creative process and my soul’s hidden wisdom, and was able to allow Kyr’s story to pour forth without censoring or editing.

Once the first draft was done, I understood what the story was about. It is Kyr’s journey from being the naïve slave of an evil sorcerer to becoming an enlightened man capable of love, and of forgiving his cruel tormentors, kind betrayers, and even himself. It is a fantasy set in a world of ritual magic, and it deals with the difficult and intertwined blessings of suffering and healing, evil and redemption, betrayal and forgiveness.

I reshaped the story and when the second draft was done, I realized I’d written an entire fantasy trilogy – and I needed help to polish it. With the help of my writing coach, Naomi Rose, I refined the second draft into a much better third draft. Since then, I’ve focused on editing and revising the first book, going up the learning curve of how to write fiction.

At this point, Dark Innocence is as complete as a book ever is. I’m exploring publishing options, and editing Book Two, Difficult Blessings. The third draft of final book, Dangerous Bliss, awaits my attention. Kyr is still running my life: urging me to learn about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing, traditional marketing vs. web promotion, website design, newsletters, e-zines, blogging, Web 2.0, etc. And it’s still fun!

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