A while ago, I asked, if prayer, meditation, tai chi, and nature walks can be considered spiritual practices. Why can’t creative writing be a practice which awakens my sense of the spiritual? I began jotting what I considered spiritual thoughts into various notebooks I had strategically stashed around the house: on a bedside stand, in my office, in a magazine rack, and in my briefcase. Before long, I had a collection of jottings that lead me to write a piece called “In Search of Wholeness.” I shared the piece with several writers in my church, who meet every third Sunday morning to share our writings.
Our protocal is simple:
- We write individually as a spiritual practice on our own schedule.
- We share our work only when we are ready.
- We do not critique work that is shared.
- We encourage one another and try to understand.
- If the author considers their work, spiritual, it is spiritual.
I was introduced to the concept by Minnesota writer, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, who had written a book titled Writing as a Spiritual Practice. Elizabth was one of the “teaching artists” from The Loft Literary Center, which sponsored the event held on the beautiful campus of St. John’s University Campus near St. Cloud. She now does her workshop on Madeline Island, Wisconsin. On her website, Elizabeth encourages creative writers with this statement, “May the rigor of learning to write well deepen your insights, widen your relationships, and enlarge the sacred presence you bring into the world.”
This month, our writing group at the Unitarian Church of Underwood is hosting Minnesota author, Karen Hering, who recently published her book titled Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversations Within. Rev. Hering serves as consulting literary minister at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul. Karen’s literary ministry is popular within Unitarian – Universalist circles as well as with writers from other religious traditions. For more information, see Hering’s website: http://www.karenhering.com.
For more information about her workshop being held in Underwood on Sunday, May 18th, see the Upcoming Events section of this Lake Region Writers Network website. The public is invited to this special, low-cost writing workshop. All experience levels of writers are welcome.
Author’s Bio.: Luke Anderson started writing poetry and memoir after retiring from a career managing nonprofit organizations. He calls himself a “late onset writer.” His work has been published in The Talking Stick, The Otter Tail Review, The Northwoods Press newspapers, the Lake Region Review and has received several literary awards. He is retired and lives in Battle Lake. He is a member of the Fergus Falls Writers and a founding board member of the Lake Region Writers Network, currently serving as President of the LRWN Board.