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.
Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within by Janet Conner
Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir by Elizabeth J Andrew
Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider, Peter Elbow
How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Pat Schneider
Writing as a Sacred Path: A Practical Guide to Writing with Passion and Purpose by Jill Jepson
Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story by Christina Baldwin
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.