Writing

Once, in a British train station, a young man stopped at a bookstall and bought book by George MacDonald called Phantastes. When he picked up the book, he was an atheist. By the time he finished it, he had encountered God. The man later wrote that MacDonald’s book had “baptized” his imagination; it gave him a new version of reality. This man was C.S. Lewis, who we all know went on to become one of the most eloquent writers on Christian faith in the twentieth century.

What might your words and stories do for another person, group of people, nation?

Whether through a poem, essay, novel, or screenplay, words can help us see ourselves as part of a divine narrative: a story. In the beginning was the Word…and the Word continues, and we find ways of telling that story in creative ways. Martin Buber said, “You should utter words as though heaven were opened within them and as though you did not put the word into your mouth, but as though you had entered the word.”

Here are some resources that help you find and craft your story in any form. (Click on the image icons for more information.)

Bird by Bird :: A delightful, witty ride! We discovered this book not long after it was published 20 years ago, and it inspired us to keep moving into the dream of writing. Which characteristic hilarity, Lamott reminds us that we can write messy imperfect drafts…and that our lives are also messy, imperfect drafts. But we keep revising. And eventually, something surprising beautiful emerges–in writing and in life.

Breath for the Bones :: So many marginal notes in our copy of this! Splendid poet Luci Shaw writes lyrical prose on art, imagination, and the spirit. She celebrates paradox (the heart of the Christian faith: life for death), and celebrates a metaphorical view of our lives, of mystery, of faith.

The Faith of a Writer :: Oh to be a “geographer of the imagination.” You are. Let Joyce Carol Oats—in her share wisdom and eloquence—share her craft with you as you embark on your own.

Poemcrazy :: Prepare to get on a poetic ride with the humorous and inviting Susan Goldsmith Woolridge. Even better than the exuberant poetry-writing exercises is the call to connect with your own, exuberant, creative self.

The Writing Life :: Early in her book, Dillard instructs: “to find a honey tree, first catch a bee.” The Boston Globe called these metaphor-rich meditations on writing  “a kind of spiritual Strunk & White.”  The journey is sweet.

Heaven to E(art)h