Writing as a Spiritual Practice – My Wishlist

I’ve been asked to help start up some kind of writer’s group at my church. I already have a great critique group for my fiction, and I’m a little burned out on writing activities that are “goal” and “audience” oriented. So I’m exploring the idea of starting a writing group that is just for that — writing. Not for feedback, not for tips on publication, not to accomplish some lofty or lucrative goal. But simply to give yourself space and time for writing as a practice, and all the blessings it can bring. I often meet people who claim that they “wish they found the time” to journal more often. I count myself among them. This group would give people that space, at least once a month. I think we’ll start up a group blog that folks can post to if they’d like, and people who want to will be welcome to share their writing with one another. But everyone will have the freedom not to share, too.

Last year, I took a great workshop on writing as a spiritual practice, Writing Your Way Toward Wholeness, from Karen Hering. So her new book, Writing to Wake the Soul, tops my list of resources to explore. Here’s the rest of the list.

I already have (and have read) Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, as well as her book, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life (which I haven’t read). Other related books I already own (but haven’t read) are Susan K. Perry’s Writing in Flow, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and The Creative Life: True Tales of Inspiration, and Elaine Ferris Hugh’s Writing From the Inner Self. As readers of this blog will know, I’m also working my way through A Year in the Life by Sheila Bender. Any other suggestions I should be adding to my list? ‘Tis the season when people are asking for my wishlist, after all.

(A couple asides:

  • I’ve gotten behind on updating my Year in the Life Exercises, so I added and backdated a couple that I missed on November 16 and November 30. The others from the “gap” weeks are ones I felt were too personal to share here.
  • How much do you love this new site? Make sure to check out the artist’s and designer’s links in the footer. My husband did the coding but doesn’t have his company’s site up yet. I am blessed to have such talented people in my life.)

6 Responses to “Writing as a Spiritual Practice – My Wishlist”

  1. My New Blog | LL Word

    […] a talented sister, and a devoted husband, I now have a customized blog/website. You will find today’s LLWord entry — and all my entries hereafter, at laceylouwagie.com. The site is still a work-in-progress, […]

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  2. Jenna

    My favorite writing books that I return to again and again (and again) are Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,” and Susan G. Woolridge’s “Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words” (which approaches poetry in a very inviting and loose way – perfect for the uninitiated.) I haven’t had much luck with “The Artist’s Way” (I got rid of my copy), but I did enjoy Julia Cameron’s “The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writer’s Life” – this would be especially great for a spiritual writing group, as she explicitly links God and spirituality to the calling of writing.

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    • Lacey Louwagie

      Thank you for the great suggestions! I will add “The Right to Write” to my official wishlist. Also, it sounds like Poemcrazy might be a good one to check out the next time I do NaPoWriMo.

      I’ve read “Bird by Bird” and I liked it, too, but I couldn’t remember if it explored writing from a spiritual perspective. I did have several students in the senior writing class I taught a couple years ago tell me that they preferred Lamott to Goldberg; I definitely have less of a personality conflict with Lamott. :)

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  3. Writing Book Review: The Right to Write by Julia Cameron | Lacey's Late-night Editing

    […] nourishes my soul. The Right to Write was recommended to me by a good writer friend when I posted a wishlist of books relating to Writing as a Spiritual Practice, and this was a really lovely start to reading through that […]

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