Review of “Into the Deep” by Susan McBride Els

This is not a “how to” book about writing. It is a meditation on the creative process of writing. I read this book many years ago and it is still my favorite, full of highlights, underlinings, and marginalia. I was swept away by Els’s deep dive into the feeling experience of writing, the wildness of it, as opposed to the rational thinking process. This book will not teach you the nuts and bolts of craft. It will teach you about creativity, the value of intuitions, vague inspirations, listening and “feeling from the inside”. It is about the heart leading the mind rather than the other way around. It is about writing as a spiritual process, yet it is not a religious book. Instead of teaching you HOW to write, it will teach you WHY to write. It addresses the required tension between knowing where you’re going and letting go into chaos. It acknowledges the disparity between the vision and the actual work, and the inevitable disappointment. “By the time the vision falls to earth, it is nothing like the vision.” Some writers will say it’s dangerous to examine the source of their creativity, that it may dry up under scrutiny. Yet this book is more of an honoring of the source rather than an analysis of it. Think of this book as an oasis in the desert, where a pool of water beckons to you to dive in and FEEL your way into the deep. Then keep it on your bookshelf to turn to whenever you need assurance that at least one person in the world understands what you’re going through.

Into the Deep by Susan McBride Els at Amazon –