cover image THE SOUL TELLS A STORY: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life

THE SOUL TELLS A STORY: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life

Vinita Hampton Wright, . . InterVarsity, $14 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-8308-3231-6

Wright, the author of Velma Still Cooks in Leeway and other acclaimed novels, offers encouraging and inspiring words about creativity in the life of a Christian, and Christianity in the life of a creative person (the explicit focus is on writing, but most of this book is easily translatable to the other arts). Wright examines the ways spirituality feeds creativity, and vice versa. Both creativity and spirituality require community and intentionality, and both foster joy. Creativity, says Wright, can enrich one's spiritual life because creating a sonnet, collage or garden can help show the creative person something about the creator God; likewise, a spiritually infused painting or short story can be more than just entertaining—it can be life changing. Wright shatters many common myths about creativity, like the idea that writing requires an "artistic temperament." She gently cautions readers that the creative life is costly and may involve rejection, disappointment and hardship. Wright is refreshingly honest, addressing creative people's tendency toward depression and warning about potential dangers (for example, two creative folks can find themselves entangled in an illicit sexual affair if they're not careful). Writing exercises are scattered throughout the book, and Wright balances her lofty reflections on spirituality with answers to practical questions like Can writing pay the mortgage? Think Julia Cameron meets Madeleine L'Engle. This book is a marvelous resource. (May)