Saturday Introductory Workshop
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Spiritual memoir is the practice of listening deeply to our life experiences through the creation of artful, true stories. We come more alive when we accept how our experiences have formed us and when we form something from what we’ve experienced. By writing memories with intention, we can find holiness in the details, patterns that unify our sense of self, and deep personal healing. By crafting our stories to engage the inner life of readers, we can participate in transforming our world.
Join Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew for an introduction to the art and spiritual practice of writing memoir. What is memoir, and how is it different from autobiography? What makes memoir spiritual? How can the practice of writing memoir, whether for an audience or no audience, support spiritual growth? We will start with the basics, using writing exercises, readings from master writers, and conversation. We will also discuss how to sustain the practice with writing partners or small groups in hopes of launching ongoing support for new writers.
Writing the Sacred Journey: Monthly Writing Sessions
Fridays, September 9, October 14, November 11, and December 9, 2016
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Monthly drop-in sessions led by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew focus on different aspects of writing spiritual memoir: themes that commonly arise, craft techniques, challenges and joys of the writing process, and practices for opening our work to the spirit’s movement. Sessions include writing exercises, examples from leading and emerging writers, lecture, and small group conversation. To support individual writers and writing groups in the ever-deepening practice of writing spiritual memoir, time is included for participant questions.
September 9: Journeys
It’s no coincidence that we describe the soul’s path as a journey. The physical journeys we’ve taken (whether they’re dog-walks, cross-country trips, or overseas pilgrimages) have much to teach us about the soul’s journey—and effective writing.
October 14: Holy Play
Writing brings us the best surprises when we don’t take ourselves too seriously! We’ll use whimsical entries into memory, learning how to shake off the inner critic and welcome the unexpected and ever-creating spirit.
November 11: Place
What’s your spiritual geography? By writing memories of place—the landscapes of childhood and adulthood, with their unique imprint—we’ll uncover the sacred gifts and challenges of location. We’ll also explore the role of settings in our stories.
December 9: Symbols and Metaphors
In this season of encroaching darkness, we’ll search for the images that act as guiding lights within our stories, transcending the ordinary and bringing us hope. Our memories are rich with symbolism; writing memories can ignite the symbols, for ourselves and our readers.
Writing instructor and spiritual director Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is the author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir; the forthcoming Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice; and many other books, essays, and short memoirs. Her work most often explores intersections between spiritual growth and the creative process.