The Alchemy of Creation

Martha Dunlop Book Chat, Fiction, New to This, Ready for More 11 Comments

A guest blog by Kate Tremills, author of fantasy stories Messenger and Blue Moon.

I am a self-professed control freak.

Most of us are. Truly. Deep down. After all, we were sold on a belief of earning our keep. Reward through persistent struggle. Anything worth having requires a fight.

Push hard. Be industrious. Sweat it out and get to heaven. Eventually.

These beliefs served our species for a long time. Keeping us alive and our society growing. They were hard won beliefs. And in my life, offered a way through many tough times. Rewarding me with scholarships, friends, and careers.

In the last few years, I noticed a big shift. A call to a different way of creating.

A whisper at first. Then it grew louder. And these days, the voice speaks in my sleep, through my dream. And in my waking hours, through loved ones and my intuition.

When the voice first appeared, I had no idea how to listen. The whispers made me nervous. Unsettled. I kept telling it, “Be quiet! Shhhh! Don’t say these things!”

But when the Divine wants to reach you, she gets persistent.

She whispered magic to me in 2007. Appearing as a scene in a story. A woman hiding in a church. Fearing for her life.

Though I did not act on the whispers, I definitely noticed. I could not shake the image. But I shoved her aside. Unsure how to listen. And determined to hold the reins and force the direction of my creative expression.

Jump cut to 2012. I am in the middle of writing my first novel. Fully immersed in a world. When this woman in hiding appeared again. This time, she would not be ignored or shoved aside. She demanded to be heard.

In fact, she insisted that I set aside the novel I was writing. “I could not,” I replied, aghast! “I don’t quit. I don’t give up! If I start a project, I must finish.”

“Then finish it later,” she commanded, unperturbed. “But you will write this story. And you will write it now.”

This is how my novel, Messenger, appeared. A novel that changed my life and my creative process. Forever.

I used to be a structure fanatic. A heart-sworn plotter.

I did not write a screenplay, choose a job, or move into a home without a plan. A purpose. A multi-page outline. And many, many hours of research and worry and sleep deprivation.

Messenger and its heroine, Gabriella, transformed my relationship with creativity. She took my hand with an insistence that evoked trust, faith, and stepping off the branch of predictability.

When we risk not knowing what the outcome will be, we enter the realm of alchemy.

The Divine does not promise results. She hands us the ingredients, the raw materials, and beckons us to experiment. To play. She invites us with the essence that will melt away our expectations and forge a new way of being.

I had no idea where Gabriella was going to lead me. Nor, if I am entirely candid, did I care. I did get nervous. I did wonder where this was headed. I often felt like I was diving off a cliff. Praying for a parachute.

Old patterns take time to dissolve. Especially when they run your life for years. Even longer, when they are admired by your culture.

But I knew, deep in my soul, that this was the path to another way of being. A trustful way. A truthful way. A way of being breathtakingly alive.

More than anything else in my life, I wanted to wake up feeling ALIVE.

Dancing in the fire of creation invites sacred alchemy. This is not for the faint of heart. Spiritual alchemy, as the fiery Caroline Myss says, is a deep process of transforming lead into gold. A practice that requires fierce honesty. Constant introspection. And a congruence of spirit that does not brook falsehoods.

But as pretense burns away, your gold core appears. Shining like a beacon to follow. A clarity that commands your soul to step forward.

Stepping into the fire of creation shapes who you are. Every day. Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

And it is! But the rewards. Oh the rewards!

I want to be clear that I do not denigrate plotters. I wholly own that I was a plotter for many years and have, only recently, transformed into a pantser. (For more on plotters & pantsers, check out Are You a Plotter or a Pantser by The Magic Violinist.)

What I will say is that alchemy showed up powerfully in my life when I let go of the creative reins. I opened up to projects the Divine chose for me. I did not question that this was work I needed to do. I recognized that handing over choice to the Divine, gave me space to dance fluidly with creation.

This does not mean that my life became a rogue, runaway train!

The paradox of creative alchemy is that I chose not to choose. I opened the door to a dance. And, together, like two partners swiveling across a smooth floor, we shaped the creation.

Each time I enter this process, the alchemy is different. The approach changes. That is the mystery of alchemy. I come out of creating (a blog, a book, a relationship, a trip) a changed woman. Lighter. Clearer. Brighter.

Curious about the alchemical dance? Want to open the door?

1. Create a calm space.
This can be in a garden. A park. A basement. On a walk. Even in a busy city. Take a moment to centre your being. And quiet your mind.

2. Ask for protection.
Simply put, whomever you see as your guardian, bodyguard, or champion. Ask them to be with you in spirit. Whether this is an angel or your brother.

3. Invite guidance.
The Divine responds when we offer an invitation. Ask her to speak to you.

4. Listen + Act.
The flow of a dance is allowing the partner to guide with subtle gestures. And to respond in kind. This may take time to feel how it works for you.

Be prepared for your life to change! Creative alchemy is a powerful ride.

When I took Gabriella’s hand, I had no idea she would lead me to where I am. A life filled with joy, miracles, challenges, ecstasy, and magic.

And I would not change that for the world.


K.M. Tremills is the author of two fantasy series, The Great Lands and Fated. She also creates with her collaborators, the Fiction Vixens, retelling myths and fairytales. When not exploring other worlds, she gives strategic counsel to creative entrepreneurs. Connect with Kate at and on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.

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Comments 11

  1. Pingback: The Alchemy of Creation - Kate Tremills

  2. I can’t tell you how much this resonated with me. I was a control freak for years, but last year, most of that faded away when I was homeless and lost most of my belongings for the third time in my adult life. *sigh*

    Sometimes we have plans for life, and sometimes, life has plans for us. We don’t have nearly as much control as we’d like to think we do. But when we have the courage to surrender to the Universe, and to let go of what we *think* we want or need, magic happens in our life. It’s small at first, but then we notice that he have less stress, more peace, less struggle, more growth, less fear, more faith.

    <3 this article.

    1. Post

      Wow, Nicole, that does sound tough! I’ve also been far too attached to control, but recently I’ve been learning to go with the flow, and the results are amazing! It turns out that control doesn’t always take you further.

  3. Very much a control freak here! I can relate to having to have a schedule or plan for things and how they will work out. Still write lists that I need to accomplish. Great article. Oh and Carolyn Myss is my favorite author. I relate to her so much and her books are so spiritual.

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  4. “The Divine does not promise results. She hands us the ingredients, the raw materials, and beckons us to experiment.”

    This is my favorite line in the whole blog because for me this is such a truth! I love the vision I have when I read this how the Divine can give me the same ingredients as someone else, but each of us will create something unique and will be just what each of us needs at that time.

    Thank you for having Kate as a guest on your blog! Love to you both

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