Writing can be a spiritual exercise. It can be a spiritual practice. In my mind a spiritual practice is a gesture done or a habit undertaken to make you more honest, to bring you closer to you, and to put you in the conscious presence of God who is greater than you. Now, that’s what I mean by a spiritual practice or exercise. And I think writing can be one of those practices. There are others, many others.
I read an interview with Robert Boyers at Catching Days. I’m grateful to Jane Friedman for introducing me to Catching Days. At the end of the repetitive interviews (The blog host, Cynthia Martin, offers interviews at the first of every month), writers are asked the same three questions.
- What is the best book you’ve read in the last three months and how did you choose it?
- Would you give us one little piece of writing advice?
- What is your strangest reading or writing habit?
In his interview Robert Boyers answers the second question by saying,
“Use your writing–even work written on assignment–to get to the very bottom of what you are thinking and feeling.”
I think this is an illuminating piece of advice for writers, but I also think non-writers can do this. What do you think? Have you used writing as a spiritual exercise? Perhaps you journal or you blog. What else have you done to get to your bottom, to articulate or to understand your thoughts and feelings?