Have you tried soul writing?

Ah, soul writing. If the name sounds soothing, then the act itself may leave you blissful.

I've been soul writing for years without knowing it was a thing, with a name. But it turns out, it's very much a thing, and one that can calm you down and guide you through life's dilemmas and desires more directly and effortlessly than any book or course ever could.

Soul writing is having a heartfelt conversation with your own soul – that inner guiding voice that whispers in the stillness – and then writing down what you hear.

There are no preparations or special equipment: only a pen, some paper and an open mind and heart.

The leading teacher of soul writing, Janet Conner, who wrote Writing down your soul: how to activate and listen to the extraordinary voice within and other companion books, says: 

Deep soul writing activates the extraordinary voice within. Follow that voice and you will begin to lead your soul-directed life – attuned to divine presence, aligned with purpose, and positively alive with creativity, guidance and grace.

When you have a conversation with your soul, you'll hear your own inner voice, likely sounding like a ‘second’ voice, separate from you but fundamentally you. It's the you without the ego, without the layers of ‘life’ on top, and it can act like your own internal lighthouse if you let it. 

Janet Conner says the soul's voice resides “just a hair below your conscious awareness” and “only a thin wall of consciousness” keeps us apart from this guide that is “higher, bigger, deeper, and wiser” than ourselves.

Soul writing is the key to hearing what that voice has to say.

The associate editor of Psych Central web site, Margarita Tartakovsky, describes soul writing as self-reflection, which is a way to “help us discover ourselves and our needs ... [and] key for taking compassionate care of ourselves and crafting a meaningful life.”

She says soul writing is beneficial because: “The more words we write about ourselves, the more we explore and discover ... the more good information we have to make conscious, nourishing decisions ...”

Getting started on soul writing is simple. Janet Conner has four steps:

1. Show up.
2. Open up.
3. Listen up.
4. Follow up (on what you hear).

She advises to engage passionately and honestly in both the asking and the listening sides of the conversation with your inner voice, and to write it all down. 

Conner says: “Questions are the Mars Explorers of your psyche, flying out from your conscious mind to probe the vast vaults of information available in your subconscious mind and beyond.”

If you like the sound of soul writing, but don't know what to ask your inner voice at first, Conner offers many prompts in her book. Some ideas are: 

  • What thoughts do you think that are toxic?
  • What parts of yourself have you been unwilling to acknowledge?
  • What do you really want?
  • What needs to happen in order to bring this into your life?
  • What is needed right now? (A question Conner says applies to all times and all situations.)

I often ask simple things to kick off, like ‘Why do I feel so stressed right now?’

Conner says:

“Once you start engaging in rich, deep conversation with something higher, bigger, deeper, and wiser than yourself, you’ll find yourself contemplating ideas you’ve never considered, saying things you’ve never said, and asking questions you’ve never asked.” 

Do you soul write? Want to give it a go? Here's a long article on The Daily OM, which reproduces some of Janet Conner's book, and here is a link to the book itself.


Natalie Bartley