writing books to open the channels.
Natalie Goldberg. For free writing, her books Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind have great prompts and exercises. For memoir, Old Friend from Far Away is worth it just for the question prompts.
writing prompts & exercises.
Andy Couturier. Writing Open the Mind is bursting with creative exercises and playful games that will turn your writing habits inside out. Fun to do with friends, but even more fun to do with Andy who is a lively and inspiring teacher. For those in Santa Cruz or the Bay area, see his website for current offerings.
the craft of writing.
Anne Lamott. Bird by Bird is a soulful, passionate, irreverent guide to writing. Down-to-earth suggestions that are filled with personality and wit. Like talking to a quirky, funny friend who is dedicated to honesty and transparency in writing and life. Helpful when you are haunted by writing demons.
Jane Hirshfield. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. A collection of beautifully written essays filled with insight into the act of making poetry. A wonderful companion for poets striving for spiritual depth and substance in their work and in their lives.
Sarah Stone. If you want to write fiction, using Deepening Fiction as your guide is like getting an MFA in a book. It is also helpful for non-fiction writers, because it breaks down how to write a good story with strong, original language. Deepening Fiction is used as a text book in MFA programs, and is expensive, but well worth it if you’re serious. It includes a wonderful collection of stories that will inspire you to do your best. The Longman Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Writing is the paperback, consumer version. It has everything Deepening Fiction has except the anthology, and it’s much cheaper. Highly recommended.
Elizabeth Andrew. Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir is an excellent guide to diving into the deepest version of memoir you can write. Filled with excellent prompts and suggestions for memoirs to read and be inspired.
Christina Baldwin. Life’s Companion: Journal writing as a spiritual quest is a classic book on journal writing as spiritual practice. It’s full of exercises and ideas for how to use writing to get to deeper layers of truth and authenticity. Lots of methods to dig in and evoke parts of yourself that are in hiding or otherwise out of reach. Even if you’ve been journaling a long time, this book can open doors and re-energize your process.
books i wrote using this approach.
Poems exploring the wisdom of the natural world, ancestral lineage, and how the past exists in the present.
Poems that emerged from a long cycle of retreat where I confronted the personal and collective shadow.
A mystical story of love, loss, limitation and the sacred lineage that passes from ancestors to the hearts of the living.