- The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore
- Publisher: Wisdom
- Date Published: June 21, 2016
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1614293521
When it comes to feeling emotional pain very few experiences are quite so uncomfortable as that of writer’s block.
Anyone who writes for a profession will know only too well of the sheer sense of desperation and frustration that one feels when the need to express oneself is there but the right words needed to convey those ideas through the written word simply refuse to formulate in your mind.
As publication deadlines loom ever nearer and editors are impatient for your copy this additional psychological pressure can turn writing from a joyful and liberating experience into a personal nightmare.
Unblocking the Flow
Dinty W Moore is a professor and director of creative writing at Ohio University. If anyone knows anything about the trials and pleasures of writing then it has to be him.
Whilst there are many publications on the market aimed at helping aspiring writers to learn and perfect their craft the book that Dinty W Moore has written on the subject intakes a markedly different approach.
Titled The Mindful Writer it focuses upon the writing experience from a spiritual point of view. To be more specific it integrates Buddhist teachings and eastern mystical philosophy into the discipline of creative writing.
In his book, Moore breaks down his work into four distinct elements:
- The Writer!s Mind – an exploration of the source of writing and creativity
- The Writer’s Desk – investigates the practice of mindfulness and the task of writing
- The Writer’s Vision – reveals how writers mindfully engage their own writing, writing habits along with their need for growth
- The Writer’s Life – drills down into what it means to be a writer
The basis of Moores’s philosophy on what it takes to be a successful writer is simple. He promotes the belief that in many regards the problems and obstacles experienced by writers – such as writers block or creative stagnation, can be mainly laid at the door of the personal ego.
As in all Buddhist matters this is the one aspect of our personal natures that can dramatically impact upon the writing process.
The antidote to this, Moore believes, is to be found through the practice of mindfulness.
Forms of Writing Style
Here the author makes a clear differentiation between those who like to write as a simple form of personal expression and those who write simply because it is within their Souls to express themselves to the world via this creative medium.
He explains how closely connected writing is to spirituality – for each specifically deals directly with the channel inf of universal energy.
Creating this connection is, the author readily admits, not a simple process but one which if one applies Buddhist practice and principles can be made a great deal easier.
Whilst the role of a writer is challenging and the work of perfecting the craft often heartbreaking the goal at the end of it all is there and is accessible to those prepared to make the journey.
As Moore states in his summing up:
How wonderful that we have this maddening, beautiful, difficult, exhilarating, frustrating, mysterious, transformative ability to create worlds out of words. What a gift. And what a challenge.
The Mindful Writer is a concise, straight to the point examination of the spiritual force that drives all writers.
Indeed, the book contains its own strong sense of the twin currents of mystical insight and plain, down-to-earth commentary on the art of the writer.
Not only is the book somewhat unique in its approach to the subject it is also quite different in that it references other major writers of the recent era and their own philosophical insights into their own approach to putting words down on paper.
This makes this book a delightful and uplifting read throughout.
I also liked the way that the material in this book was set out and somewhat compassionate approach that the author takes to struggling and frustrated budding authors.
All in all I found it to be a delightful read as well as one that, I am quite sure, will aid me in perfecting my own writing style.
The Mindful Writer is enthusiastically flagged up by Spirituality Today as an essential and highly recommended read for writers, bloggers and anyone seeking to express themselves through the written word.