Start reading Writing for Your Life on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Writing for Your Life: Discovering the Story of Your Life's Jou [Kindle Edition]

Deena Metzger
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $13.00 (77%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 25%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $3.99  
Paperback $12.99  
Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Book Description

In the tradition of Annie Dillard and Natalie Goldberg, this resource for writers and non-writers alike shows the act of writing to be a dynamic means of knowing, healing, and creating the body, mind, and spirit.

Editorial Reviews Review

Writing for Your Life is an inspiring companion for any writer, professional or personal, who sees writing as a spiritual act. Early chapters on creativity and story would appeal to anyone interested in breaking through self-imposed boundaries, by encouraging the writer to "set yourself the task to write not only what you know but more especially what you don't know." We've all heard this before, but Deena Metzger (A Sabbath Among the Ruins) provides such resonant anecdotes and enticing exercises that it begins to seem not only doable but fun. "Even when writing about ourselves or an event that we know well," she says, "we sometimes find that the story ... is taking a direction we never expected. As it is always possible to come back to the known, it is politic, under these circumstances, to see where the story wants to go." Later chapters help writers access their inner worlds through meditation, spirit guides, mythology, tarot cards, the muse, visions, nature, and dreams. To follow Metzger's book closely requires a great deal of hard but rewarding, work. "Maintaining a spiritual practice is an ordeal like climbing a mountain," Metzger warns, "and it demands the same of us: commitment, discipline, endurance, focus, and awareness. There at the top is the sky and, perhaps, the large vision, but ultimately the meaning is in the climbing." --Jane Steinberg

From Library Journal

Poet, novelist ( What Dinah Thought, LJ 8/89), teacher, and therapist, Metzger presents unique writing exercises geared to liberate one's creativity from the rational mind. She progresses from a series of questions producing self-knowledge to others that result in stories and novels. Metzger is most engaging when she is offering concrete advice and examples from her friends' and students' writings instead of dispensing mystic philosophy. She lost this reviewer in Part 3, where she instructs the reader to meditate in order "to contact the wisest part of yourself and allow it to coalesce into a mythic or historic figure " to serve as an inner guide. However, all readers of this self-help book should be able to find some method here that best allows them to unlock their suppressed imaginations and write more freely.
- Cathy Sabol, Northern Virginia Community Coll., Manassas
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 386 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062506129
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000YZQ096
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,602 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Banish writer's block forever with Deena Metzger's Writing
for Your Life. This boldly titled book is packed with
inspirational material for the writer and creative writing
teacher.There are many, many books on the market promising
to unleash the imaginations of beginning writers -
Metzger's actually delivers the goods. Her writing exercises
confront, challenge and provoke. They are tickets to the
most exciting journey of your life - an exploration of the
human heart. If a book could turn a person into a writer,
this is the book. Of course, just reading cannot do that
trick. Metzger, however, makes the idea of writing so
exciting that the blank page no longer intimidates but
invites. If I were shipwrecked, I would take Writing for
Your Life, reams and reams of paper, enough pens for a
lifetime and M F K Fisher's The Art of Eating - but that's
another story....
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Metzger does the best job I've seen on jump-starting your creativity, and tying your writing into archetypes. There's lots for the reader who wants to think of writing as a spiritual exercise. BUT for me, by far, its great gift is pragmatic. Between books, or when I feel stuck, or at the beginning of a revision, I take out "On Story" and work through all her suggestions as if it were the first time. I always come up with something new and deeper relevant to THIS story--or I come up with a new story entirely. If you are ready to get past Natalie Goldberg to the goods, here's the book. It helped me tremendously with my last novel.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for any writer who wants to go deeper February 3, 2009
Deena Metzger's book is generous, spiritual, pragmatic and inspiring. Her exercises and prompts may lead you to deep areas within yourself that are surprising and she is a constant, understanding guide. You won't be disappointed.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful for teens! April 8, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book wonderfully encourages young people to practice the therapeutic and creative art of journal writing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WRITING TO OPEN TO YOURSELF October 29, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I borrowed this book so often from two different county libraries that I knew it deserved a place on my bookshelf. I find the organization of material clear and progression of topics done well. I love how Ms. Metzger writes. She is a good exampe of what is possible in our own writing. As I love the personal and self-understanding as a way of growing through this "school of life," this book hits the spot, over and over.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience the wonder August 13, 1999
By A Customer
of self-knowledge through journals, myths, dreams, story and autobiography. Deena Metzger will have you grabbing your pen over and over as she leads you down the road to the inner territory of the writer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A travelogue of the genuine writer's path November 22, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd been stalled in an enormous writing block and bought this book along with several others in hopes of getting unstuck. Not only did Ms. Metzger's soothing prose help unstick me, I was stunned to find inside her book a great deal about story and myth, some of the wisest, most lucid, most beautiful exposition on the subjects I've read anywhere. The book's medicine worked. It helped me to feel comfortable and safe again navigating the daunting solitary path of the writer's life. For me, the weakest parts of the book were the excerpts from student writing and the odd digressive tangents on which female writing often wanders. However, the excerpts did serve to remind me that writing is accessible to everyone, that one should focus on the journey rather than any targeted ambitious result, and that when we sit quietly and get out of our own way, some truly authentic, beautiful words can emerge.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book for writers
very good book for writers.....has writers work out tensions in their life to create the tensions in their work.....not same old same old
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
This book was exactly what I want: separate part devoted to writing as a spiritual practice! Actually my choise was based on a piece of advise, but I really glad that I have this... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Irina
3.0 out of 5 stars She races in her thoughts, stream of consciousness
The book has some good ideas on writing and writing our life, writing the self in us. However, the book chases rabbits and one has to bear with her digression and jumping from one... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ibrahim
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for writers
Although I haven't finished reading this book yet, so far I am thoroughly impressed with Deena, her style of writing, her knowledge, and her amazing wisdom. Read more
Published on November 23, 2012 by Donna J. Aldrich
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes it worth living
Aristotle said "the unexamined life is not worth living." Deena Metzger provides effective and fun tools for examining one's life. I know that my life is awesome!
Published on June 26, 2001 by "more_time_and_money"
5.0 out of 5 stars Her book is magical, it will transform you.
I found this book heartachingly true. Parts made me laugh, parts made me cry. Jump into it with your hear open and your eyes wide. You won't regret it.
Rachel Elisabeth
Published on October 28, 1998
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Deena Metzger is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, storyteller and healer. Story is her Medicine.
Her latest novels are Feral and La Negra y Blanca, both published by Hand to Hand, 2011. La Negra y Blanca won the 2012 Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.

The novels The Other Hand and Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn, and also Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems are published by Red Hen Press.

Other books:
Skin: Shadows/Silence A Love Letter in the Form of a Novel, and What Dinah Thought (Viking)
The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them and the cancer journal Tree, in the volume Tree: Essays and Pieces, (North Atlantic Books) that features the celebrated Warrior Poster on its cover. Tree testifies to a woman's triumph over breast cancer. It is an example of her many formal and spiritual explorations imagining a literature responsive to the complexities and necessities of our time, especially the value of actively respecting the numerous voices that constitute an ecology of mind attuned to a sacred universe.

Writing For Your Life: A Guide and Companion to the Inner Worlds is a classic text on writing and creatitivity that articulates these possibilities for fellow writers and as do her plays Not As Sleepwalkers and Dreams Against the State.

She co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals, one of the first testimonies to the reality and nature of animal intelligence.

Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing and From Grief into Vision: A Council examine the tragic failure of contemporary culture and provide guidance for personal, political, environmental and spiritual healing.

A radical thinker on behalf of the natural world and planetary survival, a teacher of writing and healing practices for almost 50 years, a writer and activist profoundly concerned with peacemaking, restoration and sanctuary for a beleagured world, she is basing her work now on the ideas outlined in the posting, "19 Ways to the 5th World." She also teaches a program, "A Training for the 5th World." She and writer, Michael Ortiz Hill, introduced Daré to North America in 1999. Daré is a unique form of individual and community healing based on indigenous medicine traditions and contemporary wisdom. There are other Darés in the U.S. and Canada. Daré occurs on the first Sunday after the new moon at her home in Topanga, Ca. It is open to the public.

Deena convenes ReVisioning Medicine, a unique collaboration in diagnosis and treatment between medical people and medicine people, physicians and healers. She is also Senior Advisor to the NGO, everyday gandhis that supports grassroots and indigenous peacebuilding activities in Liberia and West Africa.

As a spiritual practitioner, Deena is devoted to the Pathless Path and the No Enemy Way. She has taught and lectured widely, nationally and internationally.

Her website is
Her Blogs are and

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category