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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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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.
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 ›
It's my favorite. I really like it. Jill Jepson covers it all.
Take a look at the table of contents, for example!
The Sacred Gift
The Mystic Journey
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
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best books on the psychological processes of writing and how to tap into that longing inside us. Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Bonnie
Jill Jepson's book has been a great help to me. After finishing my doctoral dissertation five years ago, I had a total writer's block. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Rev. Dr. Quinn
This is not a book to read cover to cover. Rather it is a manual, a 'how to' in one sense. The exercises in the book guide a writer through writer's block and into the flow. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Barb Lieberman, Fiction Author
Unusual, interesting read ! I like it. Love the cover as well!Published 18 months ago by Liv Fox (libby Fox)
I liked this book an awful lot. On the one hand, it helps you think about how big this creative journey is. How deep, how primal. On the other, it's just plain useful. Read morePublished on July 9, 2014 by David H. Ebenbach
Jepson offers salve for the weary writer's soul, along with a number of thoughtful exercises, some falling into the very basic category (writing by mixing the senses - or... Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Susan B Koefod
A book that helps those who need to write to take their steps forward to help themselves and nurture the rest of us.Published on March 6, 2011 by C. Yurchak
You will never again experience writer's block after reading this book. Jepson offers so many wonderful ideas of how to jump start your writing, and practice your craft, you don't... Read morePublished on February 27, 2011 by Teresa J. Reasor