How The Light Gets In Writing As A Spiritual Practice

Henri Nouwen, a spiritual writer, believes that writing may help us disentangle our thoughts, communicate our feelings, and give life artistic expression. It is a spiritual practice to write:

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“Writing may be a spiritual discipline in and of itself. Writing can assist us in concentrating, connecting with our deeper feelings, clarifying our thoughts, processing confusing emotions, reflecting on our experiences, giving artistic expression to what we are experiencing, and storing meaningful events in our memories. Writing can also be beneficial to those who read what we write.

A unpleasant, painful, or disappointing day can happen to anyone at any time “By writing about it, I was able to “redeem” it. By writing, we may claim what we've experienced and so better integrate it into our adventures. Then writing can save our lives, as well as the lives of others.”

In today's environment, writing has become purely functional. Take or leave this useful tool. The craft is a practical exercise that is only required to get published or earn money. To relieve stress, we compose and construct articles, books, and blogs “Audiences' ideal” ear We only write what we think people would enjoy, or what we think will generate a few clicks or a few dollars.

Writing has also become a tool that is only available to a select group of professionals and not to the general public. Writing, according to Henri Nouwen, is much more. It's a spiritual discipline and habit that helps us cope with suffering, sorrow, and the perplexing world we live in.

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This month, the Christian Church commemorates the birth of the Messiah as a baby by celebrating Advent. Not only to commemorate this incredible and world-changing event, but also to look forward to the Messiah's return to heal our broken lives and repair our shattered planet.

But, in the midst of sex scandals, political folly, school shootings, street shootings, hill fires, and, of course, our own suffering from living under the heat, we could use some good news.

Writing may be a powerful tool for coping with the unknown and the anguish of our hearts. In the midst of the mystery of God, life, and us, writing can be an act of faith. It has the potential to help us untangle our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. I'm a writing convert because it allows me to live a more balanced life.

The Real Ryan can be expressed in journals and notebooks that will never be seen by the rest of the world. This is an unedited and uncut version. Articles and books can be used to reveal glimpses of the real Ryan. But I don't write for the money or the fame. I would have given up a long time ago.

I write to make sense of myself, others, and our world, as well as to find out why things go wrong so frequently. When things appear to be going well, and when they appear to be going tragically wrong, how do you live considering God, neighbor, and creation? But I usually write for myself since no one knows me better than I do. Most days, I'm the universe's issue. I'm laying everything out on the table and declaring, “This is who I am right now.”

These feelings and frustrations are once again hidden in notebooks and journals. For the sake of myself and God. Maybe my children's when I'm gone.

But I've discovered that writing is more spiritual than I had anticipated. Between man and God, there is more of a mystery. When I type or write longhand, I do so in front of God. It's just me, the real me, with all of my questions, concerns, doubts, pains, and joys.

I have a better chance of getting entire if I can get closer to being my authentic and honest self. I'll never be complete this side of paradise, but the closer I can come to my genuine self, rather than the imposter, faker, and striving to satisfy others, the better. Writing aids me in this endeavor. It's frequently a release valve that helps me redeem my thoughts and days.

When I write nonfiction, I'm trying to figure out what I think about a topic. Writing a book is a way for me to share my thoughts on the subject (more accurately, teaching my starting points on an idea). This does not imply that I, or anybody else, is an expert. There's always more to say and new perspectives to offer. However, writing helps me to unravel the thoughts and ideas that are swirling around in my head.

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What about a work of fiction? I create fiction because the prose always produces a theme. I'm not someone who plots and plans a lot. I left it up to the characters to say and do what they needed to say and do. Another reason I don't revise my work till it's perfect. In time and place, I want the voice to be my voice. Not what I consider to be good writing, and not imitating someone else's style. To write the story, I have to trust my subconscious, creative, and spiritual sides.

Returning to the subject of themes. My first work, which I didn't realize until it was finished, was about dealing with the death of our daughter. My second book was about growing up with a dysfunctional family. The third topic was racial injustice.

None of these books began with the notion of discussing mortality, dysfunctional families, or prejudice. It arose as a result of my heartfelt desire. When I was writing the books, I didn't have any answers, and I still don't. However, writing as a spiritual practice assisted in untangling the pain contained within these real-life conditions and situations.

God has given us the gift of writing to cope with our genuine selves. Open a journal, take out a piece of paper, or turn on your computer. Write.

We may potentially deal with ourselves and the world in more healthy and entire ways through writing. The written word does not have to be used as a bludgeon against others. It might be a safe place for you and the Creator to talk about the things that are important to you.

As Nouwen pointed out. Maybe we'll do it “Redeem” our awful, good, and everything in between days.

How the light gets in book writing?

Fear, freedom, tradition in writing and religion, forgiveness, joy, social justice, and death are among the issues addressed in these meditations. How the Light Gets In elegantly leads readers through the aesthetic and spiritual issues that everyone faces in life.

How do you write spirituality?

Spirituality is one of the most in-demand genres in the world since it is always in need. Life moves at a breakneck pace, and we all need to sit down and regain our inner serenity from time to time. You cannot, however, simply sit down and write about your spiritual experiences, whether they involve living a life of faith in yourself or the world, or believing in God or another god. There's a lot more to spiritual writing than just your own personal experience. It's important to remember that everyone is different, especially when it comes to our inner spirituality. It doesn't mean that a path you took helped you find inner peace; it doesn't indicate that it will benefit others. When creating a spiritual book, the objective is to connect with the reader and assist them in finding their own inner peace.

Choose your Path

It's safe to assume that if you've decided to write a book about spirituality, you've already experienced an enlightening experience that has altered you, your life, and your beliefs. It might be anything from finding God to crossing over to the other side of the universe. It's critical to maintain consistency in your faith; never blend multiple themes and spiritual pathways into a single book. Rather of books on spirituality in general, the majority of your readers will purchase books with specific spiritual themes and methods to reaching inner peace.

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Share your experience

Tell us about yourself. What drew you down this path? Was it a near-death experience or a trip to another world? Find the right words to best show, not simply convey, your narrative to the reader. Look deep within yourself for the proper words, and keep in mind that you need to connect with the reader on an emotional level, so be genuine. Rather of preaching, become a spiritual guru. You want to take your readers down a route that leads to inner peace, not force doctrines on them that push them away from their emotional and spiritual core.

State your beliefs

After you've presented your story, you'll need to explain your insights into the mysteries of life and human existence, as well as all the lessons you've learned along the road, in great detail. With the help of your tale about how you reached inner peace, you should share the wisdom you've gained on the spiritual road with the rest of the world. Express your beliefs clearly, using your personal illumination as evidence for the facts you'll provide to your audience.

Find the practical use of your insight

This is what will entice readers to read your works. Finding inner peace is one thing, but maintaining it is quite another. We've all had times in our life when we've lost trust in the world, which is why we need a steady source of illumination to guide us. You must explain the practical daily application of your insight and wisdom in this section, both in times of peace and times of inner turmoil, so that the readers will always have a foundation to fall back on, a starting point that will help them go back on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Reach your audience

Or, to put it another way, publish your book. You can look for publishing houses that specialize in spiritual publications, although this can be challenging due to the subjectivity of both the writing and publishing processes, as well as the fact that spiritual books are highly personal. As a result, you may not receive positive comments right away. You can, however, always publish it on your own. Find the proper people who will buy your book and profit substantially from it, and add techniques in your marketing that are specifically tailored to reach them, ensuring that your book will have an impact on your readers.

She moonlights as a writer as a 22-year-old art student, pleased to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with fantastical creatures and fantastic new worlds. You can typically find her cuddled up, reading a fantastic urban fantasy novel, or working on her laptop, trying to create her own when she is not at school or scribbling away in a notebook.

How do you write a spiritual memoir?

Spiritual Autobiography is one of the numerous varieties of concentrated memoir. A spiritual autobiography is a chronological account of one's spiritual influences and life milestones. My own autobiography, for example, might include high school and college graduations, a job path, and marriages, births, and divorces. But there are insights and epiphanies in my spiritual autobiography! It includes a story about a good pastor who was driven out of town by hypocrites, prompting me to leave the church as a teenager, as well as a transcendental experience that led me to seek out a guru. The work route becomes a tool for serving others and meeting new people. The unsuccessful marriages become a preparation for true and lasting love, rather than a tale of naiveté and suffering.

Writing about your own spiritual journey helps you to understand what you've learnt and where you've been. Spiritual autobiography is a cleansing process because of the goal, creation, and assessment that it entails.

Begin by stating your intention in your present spiritual practice, such as prayer or meditation. Make a list of the events in your life that influenced your attitude and philosophy in a brainstorming framework. Did you find a new path after a particularly trying period? Next, think about persons who have had a positive impact on your life. Do you have a spiritual text that was given to you with love? Did someone reach out to you and assist you in overcoming a challenge? These recollections will start to flow soon. Return later to write the stories based on your outline. Continue on the spiritual path that has affected you. If you like to work visually, instead of outlining, you may create a map or timeline; recalling music or speeches can be a useful aid for individuals whose ears are key conduits for the spirit.

Your spiritual autobiography can be summarized, sketched, or expanded into a book. After you've completed your account, you'll feel relieved and ready to move on to the next step. The fact that you are reflecting and seeking will attract what you require to grow spiritually in the future. You'll be adding chapters to the document or creating a new volume as you have new experiences.

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What spirituality means?

Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature. True spirituality necessitates the opening of one's heart.

How is speaking different from writing?

“Not enough consideration is made of the basic contrasts that exist between speech and writing,” Lord Bullock wrote in his 1975 report, A Language for Life.

The aims of spoken and written language are manifestly different. Written language is permanent: if the message is not immediately evident, the reader can go back over it again and again. Speech, which is temporary and ephemeral, makes this impossible. Except for personal letters and possibly some computer-based communication such as e-mail, writing rarely involves direct connection.

Before learning to read and write, children learn to speak. Learning to talk tends to take place organically at home, whereas learning to read and write is typically associated with the start of formal schooling. As a result, we frequently assume that written language is more difficult to master, and that speech is less complex. This is not the case: oral language is exactly as complex as written language in terms of linguistic complexity, but the complexity is of a different nature. Because speech and writing are created in very different communicative settings, there are bound to be disparities in their structures and use.

The most significant distinctions between speaking and writing are those that exist between formal written texts and casual speech. Writing allows for more careful organization and more complicated systems because it is permanent.

Although formal spoken language is frequently preplanned, most spoken language is spontaneous and quick, requiring on-the-spot thought. Simpler structures and fillers like uh and er are used. There are a lot of repetitions and rephrasing. It has meaning-giving intonation patterns and pauses, as well as attitudes.

All of these oral qualities aid in the comprehension of the speech by the listener. Listeners typically have a harder problem understanding words read aloud from a written book because the language is more complex and lacks the pauses and fillers that allow us to absorb the spoken message. Reading from a scripted lecture or talk is frequently more difficult to follow than improvising from outline notes while staring at the audience.

Some words and structures, such as thingamajig and whatchamecallit, and phrases like bla bla bla, are likely to only be heard in spoken English.

“Our instructor just stated – informed us there were nouns and verbs and adverbs and bla bla bla flare parole fire bullet bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla boom bla

Small words that do not appear in writing can also be found in conversations. When we listen to talks, we are often startled by how frequently words like well, just, and oh arise.

The following is a transcript of a conversation between teens who were playing the board game “Scruples.”

C: Then we each get a ballot card, which we keep aside until the vote is called.

C: Oh, it's only that the player to the left of the dealer is the first to play, which forces the player to pose a problem.

Several names have been given to words like oh and well. They're also known as discourse or conversation markers.

“Well” is widely used in speech, but not as an adjective or adverb.

These conversational cues are challenging to transfer into another language, as well as to reliably describe and structurally analyze. They do, however, appear frequently in speech. The fluency of a conversation improves when second language learners begin to use these cues when speaking English.

Writing was once thought to be the primary medium, while informal speech was thought to be a sloppy or erroneous replica of the written form. Speech was graded as if it were a piece of writing.

The two text examples below are from the same person and describe the same event.

I heard unusual noises like footsteps on the tin roof of my bedroom, which was separate from the rest of the home, late one night while he was abroad meeting some relatives at the airport.

I would have had to walk over to the main portion of the house and unlock the front entrance to get to a phone.

I opted against it and instead turned on the light, which had the desired effect of scaring the intruder away, who had evidently assumed there was no one home.

Whoever it was dashed across the roof and leapt to the ground, making an audible thud on the lawn before fleeing.

The following contrasts between speech and writing are clearly illustrated in these two examples:

Tone groups are used in speech, and each tone group can only transmit one thought. Sentences are used in writing, and a sentence might include numerous ideas.

The primary distinction between casual speaking and writing is that speech is spontaneous, whereas writing is pre-planned.

Repetition is avoided in written language. Rather than repeating the same words and phrases, writers aim to find synonyms.

In a spoken tale, the timeless present can be used, which is unusual in a written text. It adds to the story's urgency.

Because it is easier to do, a spoken version frequently recounts events in the order in which they occurred.

59 to 64: Then I unlocked the door | walked across the house | and dialed 911 | and the cops arrived soon |

In the spoken version, the tone groups are sometimes whole clauses, though they are nearly always relatively simple ones.

Tone groupings are frequently made up of clauses and clause fragments that provide more information to the clause.

In written form, information is presented in a much more compact manner, integrating numerous ideas rather than one at a time.

Sentence (a): I shared a rented house with a housemate when I was in Western Samoa.

In the oral account, the information in sentence (b) is transmitted via 21 tone groups (7-28).

There is the possibility of direct speech in the spoken text, which would be unlikely in a written text.

This allows the speaker to have a dramatic effect by utilizing the complete range of intonation possibilities.

The ability to use embedded phrases and clauses, as well as complex clauses, is learned much later in life. Because we have time to plan when we write, we can use these structures. We don't have time to plan when we speak, so we build our discourse as we go along, repeating words and phrases and employing the simpler constructs we learned as children. The subjects of the clauses in the transcript above demonstrate this plainly. These are almost always straightforward: the vast majority are I or it. My bedroom (4) and my problem are both more complicated (29). The concept of doing this while someone was on the roof is the most difficult. It's fascinating that the speaker has to pause after this; she chuckles and gets herself mixed up: w-was not very er possible (40, 41).

The two passages show how speech and writing are very different. Because the story had already been told, this narrative may not have been fully spontaneous, and this preparation could explain some of the intricacies in the spoken version. Despite this, it is far more fractured and geared toward an audience than the written version. The written version is well-thought-out, well-integrated, and largely focused on communicating a message.

The extremes of a continuum can be perceived in spoken and written language. We've already discussed the differences between spontaneous speech and planned writing. The contrasts between spoken and written language are not always as evident. In the sense that they are delivered verbally, a university lecture, a prepared speech, or a sermon could all be considered examples of spoken English. They are, however, more likely to be closer to written language than to informal spoken language because they usually began as a written form. Although personal letters, diaries, and e-mail correspondences are written, they are likely to contain elements of spoken language.

We've focused on conversational language rather than oratory, prepared speeches, debates, or other formal forms in this area. This choice was taken for two reasons. One was that some teachers appeared to regard the study of oral language in the classroom nearly entirely in terms of prepared and planned speaking, while ignoring spontaneous speech. The second point was that teachers are unlikely to be well-versed in discussion structuring. Conversation must be understood not only because it is the most widespread use of spoken language in our lives, but also so that teachers understand the significant differences between speaking and writing. Neither form of language is superior to the other; the two are distinct and should be considered separately.


Children's comprehension of the grammar and structure of speaking language serves as a foundation for learning to write. The capacity to write is built on a solid oral linguistic basis. The interrelationships between speech and writing can be seen in writers' “emerging” and “early” stages of written language development. Initially, children's vocal language abilities far outnumber their written language abilities. Children can put down on paper what they can already say as they grasp the mechanics of writing and acquire a system of approximating spelling. Children's writing catches up with their spoken language at this “early” stage, and their writing takes on many of the personal, context-bound features of their speech. As students become more fluent writers, their writing and speech diverge. Their writing develops its own individual frameworks and organizational patterns. Fluent authors' speech frequently integrates aspects of their work.

The common misconception that written language is simply speech with print standards ignores the obvious distinctions between oral and written language. Although oral work is clearly beneficial to students' learning in general, it does not especially assist them in understanding the grammatical patterns required for writing. Children's reading and having appropriate models of written language read to them provide models of written language patterns.

Natural language is frequently mentioned as being important in writings aimed at young readers. “Natural language” does not refer to writing that mimics children's oral language patterns; rather, it refers to the use of authentic “book” or written language that uses natural rhythms and conveys real meaning, as opposed to the artificial and meaningless structures that were once prevalent in many early reading texts. Compare:

Mrs Delicious ordered a truckload of flour for the world's largest cake. (in a natural tone)

Teachers should not oversimplify the links between written and spoken language since the natural oral language patterns of young children are exceedingly difficult to read. It is critical that students' early reading exposes them to good written language models. Although the topics and vocabulary reflect children's experiences and interests, the structure of these writings is written English, which some pupils may find strange. Teachers who are aware of these distinctions are better prepared to assist pupils in transitioning from spoken language to the unknown forms and functions of written language. In a two-way process, the two forms then enrich one other.

The understanding of the relationship between speakers and listeners on the one hand, and readers and writers on the other, differs not only in the nature of the spoken and written texts, but also in the understanding of the relationship between speakers and listeners on the one hand and readers and writers on the other. We highlighted the listeners' and speakers' understandings of conversation when discussing the cooperative principle of conversation. Early writings by young children demonstrate that they comprehend the nature of communication and that their expectations of readers are comparable to those of listeners.

We can observe the transformations in understanding that students need to make if we look at Grice's Maxims from the perspective of writers.

It is required of speakers to tell the truth. They should not make statements that they know are untrue or for which they lack sufficient evidence. However, fiction is most likely to be the first written material we introduce young children to, and we expect children to produce fiction as well. In writing, being inventive and innovative is typically praised, but it often frowned upon in conversation.

Speakers are supposed to be succinct, providing just enough information without going overboard. Young children, on the other hand, must elaborate in order to make their point obvious in writing. Adding information to a text is one of the first things a teacher encourages a new writer to do. This is done in the same way that it is done in a conversation: by questioning the writer and asking for further information.

Speakers are expected to respond in a timely and suitable manner. A lot of what pupils say is in response to something else they've heard.

It's easy to see why students, particularly novice writers, struggle to generate material on their own. Speakers in a conversation do not need to think of new topics to discuss or new and fascinating ways to present their opinions.

Speakers are expected to respond in a clear and unambiguous manner. In most cases, information in speech is presented in a linear or chronological manner. Complex grammatical structures are not used by young children in their speech, hence they are not present in their writing. Learning that information can be organized in a variety of ways in writing takes time.

It would be exasperating to have a conversation with someone who used suspense-building techniques that are commonly used in literature. We encourage speakers to “get to the point” in spoken language, but we encourage young children to take their time building the scene in written narration.

Children develop oral language in interactive contexts when they communicate. When they write, however, kids are learning to create a text without the use of suggestions or answers from the reader.

It is necessary to assist students in understanding that writing is more explicit than speech.

For children, the lack of a reader is a challenge since they typically have trouble envisioning their audience. Because learner writers presume that their readers bring a similar knowledge to the text, their writing often has the implicitness of speech, with much left unsaid.

It is necessary to assist students in becoming familiar with the structures of written language.

Children must acquire a new syntactic, semantic, and textual unit – the sentence – when learning to write. Sentences are more common in writing than in speech. Clauses in speech tend to follow one another in a linear fashion without necessarily having a clear end point. The sentence, on the other hand, should be able to stand on its own. It necessitates forethought, as well as a determination of which clause will serve as the main clause and what will serve as its supporting components. More than the capacity to utilize capital letters and full stops is required to comprehend and employ the concept of a sentence.

Learning to write necessitates the acquisition of new cognitive skills. It entails “learning new kinds of syntactical and textural structure, new genre, and new methods of interacting to unknown addressees,” as Gunther Kress explains in Learning to Write.

Learning Media Limited on behalf of the Ministry of Education, P O Box 3293, Wellington, New Zealand, Crown, 1996, has granted permission to copy Exploring Language.

How does light get in?

Christmas is coming, and in Québec, that means beautiful snowfalls, bright lights, and meetings with friends in front of crackling fireplaces. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, on the other hand, is having a less than happy holiday season. Most of his top agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are forming a defensive line around him. Gamache enjoys the opportunity to get away from the city when Myrna Landers informs him that a longtime acquaintance has failed to appear for Christmas in the town of Three Pines. Myrna's hesitation to give her friend's name perplexes Gamache, who quickly learns that the missing woman was once one of the most famous women in the world, not only in North America, but worldwide, and that she is now virtually unknown to everyone except the insane, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

Gamache is lured deeper and deeper into the realm of Three Pines as events unfold. He's not just looking into the disappearance of Myrna's companion, but also looking for a safe haven for himself and his still-faithful comrades. Is there peace even at Three Pines, and if so, at what cost to Gamache and those he loves?

Louise Penny's eleventh Chief Inspector Gamache novel is How the Light Gets In.