Friday, April 13, 2012

Book Review: The Soul Tells a Story

I noticed this book on my book club leader's end table. Since it focused on creative endeavor and especially writing, I decided to give it a whirl. I spent a good portion of my writing retreat reading this.

I wouldn't say it is a phenomenal book about writing. There are plenty I would consider more inspiring, but it was a worthwhile read. Plus, I must have felt somewhat inspired because I found myself jotting down quotes from the book. Here are a few:

"We have to have faith - faith that what we do ... is worth our best energy.... You are called to a work, and you respond with your particular gifts, vision and energy.... You say yes and then hope that your skill will live up to the yes.... Your vision will always exceed your abilities."

This was very poignant to me, in light of my recent struggles with assessing whether I have a lot of talent or just a little.

The author also quoted Robert Withnow's book, Creative Spirituality, when he wrote, "Although it is possible to be creative without having experienced personal trauma, such experiences often jolt people into asking questions that other people have no reason to ask and gaining a new perspective on realities that other people take for granted."

This made me try to pinpoint what personal traumas would be good fodder for my own story-telling. Those personal traumas were allowed by God for a reason and must be an important place to search for something significant to say. Maybe it will take time and distance to be able to step away from the intense pain, but eventually those traumatic events will reap a perspective that needs to be shared.

If you are interested in exploring your God-given creativity (be it art, writing, music, etc.), this book encourages you to value your gift and to devote yourself to the pursuit of excellence in that gift. The writing is easy to read and affirms the idea that your creativity is an expression of your spirituality. It was fun, if even just to eavesdrop on another writer's journey.

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