Tuesday, December 03, 2013

"The Art of Spiritual Writing" -- A Recommendation

I'm not new at this.  This being spiritual writing.  My first piece was published in 1979.  My first book came out in 1983.  I should be pretty good at it.  And, I say humbly, I am.

When, that is, I remember to write right.  Which I don't always do.  I'm working on a rewrite of a book now -- the first submission was too dry, too teach-y and too heady.  Not enough heart to make anyone want to read it.  Not personal enough to make anyone care.  Not relevant enough to the reader's experience.

I could have avoided all that had I had Vinita Hampton Wright's new book, The Art of Spiritual Writing: How to Craft Prose that Engages and Inspires Your Readers.  As it turned out, the book came after dark last night, whilst I was in the dark about how to "fix" my manuscript.

Instead of continuing the struggle to beat my book into shape, I read Vinita's book.  Straight through.  And, as I did, I kept thinking, "Yep", "Indeed", "A-ha", and other such things.  It wasn't so much that I learned a lot of new things.  Rather Vinita's book reminded of everything that I knew but had somehow forgotten to practice.  Yikes.  I'm keeping it beside me as I go through my re-write.

The first two chapters alone are worth the price of the book --

  • What Does It Mean to “Write” Spirituality?  
  • The First Five Things Every Spirituality Writer Needs to Know

Other chapters are just as helpful and include:

  • How to Make Your Story a Story for Others
  • What Authenticity Is and Why It Matters
  • What You Can Learn from Other Spirituality Writers
  • Simple Ways to Make Your Writing Better

I am not going to tell you what Vinita says about these topics.  What I am going to say is, "Read this book!" It doesn't matter whether you're new to writing or an old hand like me -- you'll find this little collection of writing wisdom helpful.  It will take you further down your journey to writing well -- guided by an excellent practitioner of this craft to which many of us feel called.

-- Brent

On Thursday of this week Vinita will be guest blogging about her book here on Holy Ordinary.  You won't want to miss that.

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