Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Post: Jill Jepson author of Writing as a Sacred Path

Today I'd like to welcome Jill Jepson, author of Writing as a Sacred Path, who will be doing a guest post for us as part of her blog tour!

From Jill:

Becoming the Writer-Warrior

One of the things I explore in my book, Writing as a Sacred Path, is how writers are like warriors—and why they must be. It’s a topic that intrigues some people and upsets others. When you think of bloodshed and violence, you don’t want to be anything like a warrior. But the highest, most honorable features of the warrior are qualities every writer has to have.

For one thing, there’s courage. If you don’t think it takes courage to write, it’s probably because you haven’t stared at a blank computer screen for three days. Or shared your deepest fears, darkest memories, and most far-fetched fantasies with strangers. Writers do that every time they write authentically and with depth. They write with their life blood and then send it out for the world to read. It takes guts to do that—the guts of the warrior.

An honorable warrior doesn’t fight just for pay, but for truth—whatever form that truth takes. The writer has to have the same commitment to truth. Even for the fiction writer and the poet, ones who are playing with reality, inventing characters and events, truth is still essential. That doesn’t mean sticking to facts, but sticking to your values, to what you believe in the deepest part of yourself. When you read a very good short story, you know the people you’re reading about never existed outside the page, but you can still feel the ring of truth in the work. That’s because the writer has written with complete honesty and candor, with a commitment to what she believes in her soul.

Warriors and writers must both show unfailing discipline. There is no room for excuses when you are training for battle. You can’t decide you’re too tired or busy that day or just don’t feel like getting out and practicing. You do it regardless. When someone truly commits to writing—going beyond simply wanting to write, experimenting with it, or trying it out—this discipline comes naturally. You don’t tell yourself you’ll get to work once you have the time or after you get over your cold. You make time. You summon the energy. You get out there and write because, like the warrior preparing for battle, you have no choice.

The writer at the keyboard needs to have the focus of the warrior on the battlefield. In combat, the warrior needs to be completely there, utterly aware of what is happening in the moment. It can make the difference between victory and defeat, life and death. The writer needs to have the same type of focus, an awareness in which the rest of the world falls away, and the only thing that exists is the universe you are creating on the page. Writers don’t die if they lack it, but their work does.

The qualities of the warrior can apply other pursuits in the same way. When you see yourself as a warrior, whether a writer-warrior or a nurse-warrior, a parent-warrior or a student-warrior, you raise your work to a higher level. You challenge yourself to reach your highest potential, and you accept no excuses for not doing your best. Courage, discipline, focus, and a commitment to truth become the way you live your life. It is a way to be in the world. It can be life-changing.

About Writing as a Sacred Path:

In this inspiring guide, writing teacher and anthropologist Jepson draws on her worldwide travels and studies of spiritual traditions to present a refreshing approach to the art of writing. Through rituals, exercises, dream analysis, and more, writers will find fresh techniques for honing their skills, overcoming creative blocks, and finding their authentic voices, while writing bravely, honestly, and with true vision.

About Jill:

Jill Jepson is a traveler, professor, and transformational life coach, and the author of three books and over 60 articles. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago as well as degrees in writing, psychology, social science, and Asian studies. Using her extensive travels to places as diverse as Guatemala, Syria, Siberia, and Afghanistan, her writing explores spiritual traditions, history, culture, personal growth, and the writing process. Through her business, Writing the Whirlwind, she offers coaching and online workshops for writers, activists, and others. You can visit her website at

Thank you so much to Jill for joining us today! If you'd like to pick up a copy of her book Writing as a Sacred Path click on the cover image below.


Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis

How cool a book on writing what a nest idea I will have to ck it out.
Thanks for the review!!

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