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Writing as a Sacred Path: A Practical Guide to Writing with Passion and Purpose Paperback – December 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587613255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587613258
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A supportive guide to approaching writing as a sacred art and to discovering spirituality through the process of writing. * Writing exercises present new ways for writers to break through blocks and explore their spirituality while cultivating their craft. * Translates the diverse spiritual and creative practices of shamans, warriors, mystics, monks, and contemporary writers into concrete tips and lessons.

From the Author

For decades, I searched for a spiritual path that was right for me. I traveled all over the world--to India, Central America, Japan, the Middle East, even Siberia--interviewing practitioners from vastly different traditions, taking in the teachings of spiritual leaders, and engaging in all sorts of spiritual practices.

In the end, I realized I'd been following my spiritual path all along. That path is writing.

In Writing as a Sacred Path, I hope to show that writing can open gateways to the Sacred. My goal is to lead other writers to those gateways and see them off on their own unique writing journeys.

More About the Author

For years, Jill Jepson traveled the world--India, China, Japan, the Middle East, Central America, Europe, and elsewhere--learning languages and exploring spiritual practices. She interviewed priests, studied with shamans, lived in monasteries, and talked to scores of lay people. She also wrote, beginning at the age of three when her mother wrote down the stories she dictated. Her love of writing and her knowledge of spiritual experience come together in her book, Writing as a Sacred Path: A Practical Guide to Writing with Passion and Purpose.

Jepson is also a linguistic anthropologist, professor, and writing coach. She is the author of three books and over 70 articles on spirituality, history, culture, and writing. A native of California's Central Valley, she lives in Minnesota with her husband, four cats, and two dogs. She is a professor at St. Catherine University and runs a business, Writing the Whirlwind, offering coaching and workshops for writers.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book works for both beginning writers, and those needing fresh inspiration.
Susan B Koefod
If you're a writer, artist, composer, or actor, or know anyone who is, this is the one book you should read this year.
Karen Lee Pliskin
In Writing as a Sacred Path, it's a calling, a spiritual exploration, a life commitment, as well as practical pursuit.
Cecilia K. Farr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Karen Lee Pliskin on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
What writer hasn't succumbed in frustration and fear to the anti-muse, writer's block? For that matter, what about the composer who thinks her melody or theme seems stilted or drab? Or the artist who stares in despair at the nothingness of a blank canvass? When creative people feel they've lost all imagery and invention, they need to open Writing as a Sacred Path and embark on one of the many invaluable exercises to tap into that mystery and wisdom of the creative mind.

Jill Jepson is a magician of the imagination. In Writing as a Sacred Path, Jepson takes the reader on a journey. She leads us into the worlds of mystics, monks, shamans, and warriors. Jepson uses these different archetypes as prompts to spur the writer's creative endeavors. Throughout the book are "sacred tools," or exercises, which enable us to dig deep into the caverns of our imaginations in an almost hypnotic way. Although this sounds like a New Age book, it's not. It's a well-thought-out, inspirational, and inventive guide to expand and unlock the reader's creative potential.

I am both an artist and a writer, and have read many books about writing. But Jepson's is the only one I've read that excites me, mesmerizes me, and spurs my imagination. If you're a writer, artist, composer, or actor, or know anyone who is, this is the one book you should read this year.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cecilia K. Farr on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the richness of Jepson's perspective--that writing isn't only a number of words per day or a well-crafted sentence. In Writing as a Sacred Path, it's a calling, a spiritual exploration, a life commitment, as well as practical pursuit. This was affirming and inspirational for those of us who spend long hours in front of our keyboards and sometimes wonder why we can't give it up!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I believe writing is a spiritual practice, and so I was drawn to the title of Jill Jepson's book. She approaches writing through four gateways to the sacred: the mystic, the monk, the shaman, and the warrior. It is a book full of writing ideas as well as affirmations for the writing life.

The mystic helps us "develop our own unique perspective"; the monk teaches us to foster silence and solitude as well as the "importance of community in the writing life"; the shaman teaches writers to "journey in the realm of memory, imagination, myth and dream and how to draw energy from our relationship with the natural world." Lest you feel the need for down-to-earth practical advice, the warrior's training teaches and inspires "focus, discipline, and strategic skill."

Jepson begins the book saying: "If you are reading this book, you have already heard the call." That simple sentence is an honoring of the life we writers have chosen, or more accurately perhaps, the life that has chosen us.

One of the "sacred tools" presented early in the book is "Offering Your Story." This means offering our story to a particular person or to the world, while keeping our personal gift of writing in mind. When our story is finished Jepson suggests we infuse it with love, light a candle and "hold the story up toward the sky or close to your heart." As Jepson writes: "Whatever you can do to ritualize your offering will confirm that you are bestowing a gift that is not only priceless, but unique in all the world."

Each chapter offers philosophies and beliefs central to the four gateways and paths and is filled with exercises, activities and prompts. There is much that is affirming and inspiring here with quotes from writers and practices from indigenous people.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Dr. Jude Arnold on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm leading a writing group of women at our county library. I purchased this book, Writing as a Sacred Path, along with several others to look for things I could share with my group.
It's my favorite. I really like it. Jill Jepson covers it all.
Take a look at the table of contents, for example!
The Call
The Sacred Gift
The Mystic Journey
Transcendent Awareness
Crazy Wisdom
The Monastic Path
The Writer in Silence and Solitude
The Writer in Community
The Way of the Shaman
Darkness and Healing on the Writer's Path
Sacred Ground
The Warrior Road
Honor and Courage in the Writing Life
Strategy and Skill for the Warrior Writer.
It's difficult to say which role I relate to more, the mystic, the monk, the shaman or the warrior.
I consider myself a healer before a writer. I've confronted all these roles as a healer. Certainly we can agree that Healing is a Sacred Path. Thus, logically, Writing is also a Healing Path.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Burian-Mohr TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I found the explanation of why some of us are compelled to write intriguing, I found Ms. Jepson's Sacred Tools to be the most helpful part of the book. All writers need tools, to help them through the hard parts, to inspire new thoughts, to take them in different directions. Jepson has put together a spectacular toolbox for writers, with tools for inviting and receiving stories, tools for caring for stories, tools for caring for oneself as a writer, and tools for helping a writer grow.

One of my favorites of the Sacred Tools is what Jepson refers to as Magic Beans. She makes the point that disagreements can serve as a rich source of material for writing. "The key to turning discord into a story is the ability to discover its core. If we can get under the layers of confusion and miscommunication, we can find the hard seed at the middle of any disagreement. That seed can be thought of as a 'magic bean,' like the one planted by Jack of fairy-tale fame." It's a gift that can blossom in terms of story.

Here, Jepson counsels the observer to pay attention to the conflict, write it down, plant the beans (letting your own story blossom), add characters, heighten tension, add new elements, and experiment.

The book is wall-to-wall with similar exercises and tools for writers to try when they are stuck, when they aren't stuck, when they want to write differently, when they want to grow, when they are afraid to write, and when they are afraid not to write.

The book is about more than a spiritual path; it's a handbook no writer should be without.
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