The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life, By Vinita Hampton Wright

The Soul Tells a Story

Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life

by Vinita Hampton Wright

The Soul Tells a Story
  • Length: 260 pages
  • Published: March 30, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3231
  • ISBN: 9780830832316

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There is a reason artists tend to feel a sense of the sacred in their work. It's the same reason those on the path of spiritual formation find that creative exercises lead them into a deeper, more authentic experience with God. Creative work is soul work, and soul work is always creative work. Feeding one while neglecting the other will leave you restless and unsatisfied. Nurturing them both will lead you to new places of self-discovery and God-discovery.

"I believe that spirituality and creativity are intricately connected, yet they are rarely nurtured and talked about that way," contends Vinita Hampton Wright. In these pages she leads you through the process and practice of integrating the worlds of Christian spirituality and creativity.

You will find both inspiration and practical help for

  • embracing the life that chooses you
  • understanding the spiritual process of creativity
  • facing the self you have to deal with
  • comprehending the relationship of sexuality to both art and soul
  • developing a supportive community for your work
  • thriving as a creative person in the real world

The Soul Tells a Story helps you to turn frustrated longings into satisfying growth.

"Encouraging and inspiring. . . . Think Julia Cameron meets Madeleine L'Engle. This book is a marvelous resource."

Publishers Weekly, April 1, 2005 (starred review)

"The Soul Tells a Story is an amazingly generous offering: each page brims with Wright's essential and deeply learned insights from her years as both writer and editor. This is a brave book, willing to lead us into the darker corners of an artist's process. Even more, it is a celebration of entering into the divine work of creating, inviting us to expand our very souls in the process."

Kate Young Caley, author of The House Where the Hardest Things Happened

"In this luminous volume Wright combines the splendid attributes of practical guide with practicing writer describing what and how she has learned from her own soul telling its story. Admirable!"

Luci Shaw, Writer in Residence, Regent College, and author of The Crime of Living Cautiously

"The Soul Tells a Story is a book for writers and for those who are interested in the creative process. However, I believe it is even more of a book for spiritual sojourners of all faiths and spiritual traditions. Vinita demonstrates, through her own soul story, a depth of passion, honesty, struggle, creativity and above all a vibrant-energetic life, the integrative power of the soul at work within the human person. I do not cry easily when I read a book. I do not easily laugh or for that matter react with any strong emotion as I read, but as I turned these pages I often could not contain myself. Again and again I discovered something in Vinita's soul story that released something of my own soul story. I am deeply grateful."

Rev. Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R., author of Sacred Refuge: Why and How to Make a Retreat

"Honest, stimulating, practical and wise. This book is going on my shelf of absolute essentials."

Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Real Sex

Her book offers kind, sisterly, experienced advice to readers of any faith who are on the brink of or in the midst of their own creative work.

Monica Tenney, Congregational Libraries Today, May/June 2007



A Word About Beginnings

1. The Heart-Stopping Act of Saying Yes:
What to Expect When You Embrace Creative Callings

2. The Journey of Creative Formation:
How to Approach Your Gifts with Faith and Intention

3. The Practices That Engage the Process:
What It Means to Participate with Mystery and Muse

4. The Various Ways We Tap the Well:
Where to Search for Material and Inspiration

5. The Balance That Leads to Greatness:
How to Craft But Not Control While Using Both Sides of the Brain

6. The Community That Counts:
When You Need Support and Where to Find It

7. The Self You Must Face:
Where Your Gifts Begin and Where You Must Return

8. The Beauty and Danger of a Creative Life:
Why the Wonder Brings Darkness with It

9. The Home Built in Exile:
How to Thrive as a Creative in the Real World

Appendix: Using This Book with a Small Group


About the Author


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Vinita Hampton Wright

Vinita Hampton Wright is a critically acclaimed writer and professional editor who conducts creative formation workshops at conferences around the country. She is the author of three novels--Grace at Bender Springs, Velma Still Cooks in Leeway and The Winter Seeking--as well as the nonfiction book Simple Acts of Moving Forward: A Little Book About Getting Unstuck. She and her husband Jim--a professional photographer--live in Chicago.