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.