The Value of Practice | Food For Thought Friday

JordanFood for Thought Friday, Writing. Practice.

Not all of you may consider yourselves spiritual, nor do I expect you to. But once in a while I like to throw out a little note from a spiritual teacher as food for thought for your writing:

“Spiritual practice is direct experience…we are harnessing timeless technologies precisely engineered to open the heart and transform consciousness. Practice knocks on the door of the soul and it opens to the presence of the sacred.” —Mirabai Starr

I use the term “writing practice” frequently when talking about writing. Whether we’re discussing ways to get motivated, commit to your writing, or actual elements of the craft, I firmly believe in treating every facet of your writing life as part of a larger practice. This inures you against feelings of failure, discouragement and hopelessness. If your writing life is a practice, then each day is another chance, attempt, or start. You may even return to your writing from a sabbatical or fallow stretch, and find that it’s still there, waiting for you like a patient pet.

Maybe you don’t speak spiritualese, and Mirabai Starr’s quote above is a little too far from your way of thinking. So try this, my translation for you:

Writing practice is direct experience with yourself, your heart, your mind. When we write, we harness timeless technologies precisely engineered to open our understanding, compassion and wisdom and transform the way we see the world and others. Practice knocks on the door to our being and opens it to the understanding that we are not alone. That each life has purpose.

I don’t know about you, but I like seeing my writing as part of a larger purpose to my life. I like to use it to connect and understand. And the more you commit to your practice, through daily writing, continual efforts to improve upon it, and pushing yourselves into new territories where you can, thus, grow, the more your writing practice adds up to make your lives  better, or at least clearer.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Happy writing.


If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or sign up for my newsletter. Also check out my books: Night Oracle, Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time and, Forged in Grace. For a dose of optimism, read my column, The Persistent Optimist, at Sweatpants & Coffee.

The Second Annual Plot & Scene Writing Retreat with Martha Alderson happens at the Mt. Madonna Retreat Center, May 1-3, 2015.

Creative Commons License
Photo, “Desk with Pencil Case” by Nicola Sapeins De Mitri, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License.

JordanThe Value of Practice | Food For Thought Friday