Writer’s Toolchest



ARE YOU WRITING STILL?: WRITING AS CONTEMPLATION

Browsing in the bookstore,
an acquaintance queried,
“Are you writing still?”

I knew what she meant—
are you still writing,
finding ideas that you want to
(no must) share with the world?
What she asked was easy—about
evidence, externals: have you…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Are You Writing Still?”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 


CREATIVE JOURNALING

Even skilled writers may neglect the personal side of our professional development. Returning to basics can rekindle motivation and insight.

Face barriers to journaling. Don’t try to say things “right.” Make only two rules:
date each entry; make a mistake in the first one! Forget skipped days: aim for
four days (or one) out of seven.

Why keep a journal? A journal integrates each isolated jour (day) with your lifelong journey. It incorporates fragmented pieces of…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Creative Journaling”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 

WRITING ON THE EDGE—AT THE CENTER

“See my writing on the edge?”
I showed a friend how I use a sharpie
to write on the spine of journals
of my published articles
so I can quickly find them on my shelf:

WRITING IN THE DARK
COMPANIONING SPIRITUAL ORPHANS
SOLDIERS & LOVERS

“Writing on the edge—
there’s a…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Writing on the Edge”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 


 

WRITING YOUR WAY HOME

During a time when I was getting several writing rejections, two things occurred to me. First, if I write for myself, rejections goad me to growth. Second, when work or duty demands I write, if at the end of a day I find myself an inch closer to my own heart and the Heart of the universe then obligation has morphed into invitation.

Any form of writing—fiction or analytical essays, poetry or memoir—holds potential for calling forth a spiritual dimension that can unlock the treasure of your life’s passion and purpose. What practices can increase the propensity for such moments of “writing your way home?”

Opening to opposites. After presenting a lecture in Buena Vista, I needed to drive back to Denver at night to…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Writing Your Way Home”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 


 

HIGH-TECH, HIGH-TOUCH

“Another writers’ workshop. But nobody presents about writing any more; it’s all about Internet, websites and marketing.” Sound familiar? Sometimes the stress of technology sabotages the delight of crafting words. How can we balance the contemplative life of a writer with the increasing demands of the Internet culture? Better yet, can we integrate the two?

Contemplating and communicating
Our culture is shifting from postmodern to what I call primal modern. Cool computer screens and high-tech communications leave us starved for…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “High Tech, High Touch”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 


 

POETRY AS PLAY

WRITING NOTHING
I write about
nothing.
No thing.
Ah! No thing
really matters,
only relationships.

In so few words, nothing led to everything (Einstein could agree). So when you can’t write, write about not writing. What comes out of this Zen-like practice may be spare, often rhythmic phrases.

Why poems (if you write fiction or essays)? Poetry can function for writers like practicing arpeggios for a musician or stretches for an athlete. It sharpens one’s eye to notice what Jane Kenyon called “the luminous…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Poetry as Play”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.

 


 

“Writing in the Dark to Love: Using Your Pen as a Tool in Spiritual Companioning”
Presence, the journal of Spiritual Directors International www.sdiworld.org March 2009.

Everyone writes: to-do lists, e-mails, blogs, newsletters, teaching preparations, reminders to a colleague or lover; notes to thank, sympathize, and congratulate. As we tend the souls of people we meet with—formally and informally—I aim to show how ordinary scribblings can lead us into the script of love hidden in each person’s heart.
Writing is a way of “mending the universe” within oneself and the cosmos—tikkun olam in kabalistic Jewish tradition. We can pen our way home to the true Self and out into the world’s need.
As with any spiritual practice, how dare we listen in on another’s sacred script if we have not…

Click Here to Read the Full Article “Writing in the Dark to Love”
Kent Ira Groff © Permission granted to use for educational purposes with proper citation.