A Writer’s “Four Noble Truths”
I was on a retreat recently, hosted by the Friends of Silence, which was founded by the writer Nan Merrill. Nan passed away a few years ago, and her legacy — the Friends of Silence newsletter — has been inherited by residents of the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center.
As a tribute to Nan, Rolling Ridge has built a cabin to house her library, and in that library one can sit in Nan’s rocking chair, and wrap oneself in Nan’s shawl, and pray to be re-dedicated to the vocation of writing.
So there I was, in Nan’s chair, in Nan’s shawl, praying for Nan’s assistance. I glanced at the bookshelf beside me and saw One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher.
Based on the Zen philosophy that we learn more from our failures than from our successes, One Continuous Mistake teaches a refreshing new method for writing as spiritual practice. In this unique guide for writers of all levels, Gail Sher — a poet who is also a widely respected teacher of creative writing — combines the inspirational value of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way with the spiritual focus of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.
Nan Merrill is sending you a gift right now! It’s the four ‘noble truths for writers” as identified by Gail Sher:
- Writer’s write.
- Writing is a process.
- You don’t know what your writing will be until the end of the process.
- If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is not to write.