Two incredible writers (who are also good friends of mine) have written a book for the writer in the busy world. Brenda Miller and Holly Hughes are the authors of The Pen & the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World.
I haven't gotten my copy yet, but from what I've read (and what I've read from both of them), I'm going to love it.
Here's the details--
Proposing that contemplation is an active practice that can take place anywhere, anytime--in the Volkswagen repair shop, at the Farmer's Market, at PetSmart--Brenda Miller and Holly J. Hughes share experiences that have helped them bring mindfulness and new avenues of expression into their writing.
Each chapter of The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World includes suggested readings and activities, offering writers innovative ways to:
* create physical and mental space for contemplation and writing
* heighten awareness as a basis for writing
* use the ancient art of Lectio Divina (sacred reading)
* practice writing that articulates the concrete, tactile, sensory world
* take risks in writing
* explore personal spiritual traditions in writing
* pay attention to sensuous details in writing
* practice gratitude through writing
* awaken writing through travel, animals, food, and the physical body
* prepare for writing through ritual
* write in community
At the heart of any contemplative practice is the ability to slow down and simply observe what is happening, both inside and outside the self. The Pen and the Bellarticulates not only the value of slowing down, but how to slow down. The authors describe the power of detailed observation, and encourage you to cultivate the patience for such watchfulness.
Through these practices, you will understand how the big issues--love, death, joy, despair--can be accessed through the concrete, tactile, sensory world, and you will have new avenues to express that world in your writing.
Brenda is offering a giveaway of this book on her blog, so check it out here for more info on how to enter.
Or you can pre-order your copy from Amazon here. (I'm not sure how Amazon is doing it, but they are pre-selling them for only $7.97!)
Congrats Brenda & Holly!