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Have you ever felt driven to write about a spiritual experience? But when you actually sat down to write, you just stared at the blank page, or gave up in frustration, deciding that no one would want to read what you had to say. Writing the Sacred Journey offers a template for the spiritual writer, whether you wish to write for yourself, or for a wider audience.

 

Elizabeth J. Andrew has written a well-thought out and useable guideline for the spiritual memoir writer. She has taught spiritual memoir writing and journal writing and is the author of Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir, her own spiritual memoir.

 

 “Three qualities make the genre of spiritual memoirs unique. The spiritual writer uncovers, probes and honors what is sacred in his or her life story; the writing process itself is a means to spiritual growth; and the end product makes the experience of the sacred available to the reader”.

 

The book is divided into three sections, The Spiritual Memoir, Your Spiritual Life as Subject Matter and The Craft of Writing. Each section is then divided into chapters, which include several exercises to help the writer examine a small experience and place it in the context of her spiritual journey.

 

Both the Spiritual Memoir section and the Craft of Writing section tackle the nuts and bolts of writing. From carving out the time to write on a daily basis, to blocks and revisions, these sections offer concrete examples and solutions that could apply to all genres. The center, and central section, Your Spiritual Life as Subject Matter, deals with the often ephemeral topics that comprise a spiritual memoir. Epiphanies, metaphors, settings and honoring our teachers are just a few topics covered.

 

This book is easy to read with practical advice and exercises and is a fine reference book for writers of all genres.

 

~review by Karen Phillippi

Author: Elizabeth J. Andrew

Skinner House Books, 2005

pp. 244, $16.00

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