Creative people want to dream, innovate, refine, and craft the highest quality work possible. But in today's environment of social media and branding and platform building, the noise threatens to push creativity to the bottom of the list. In this compilation of three books, the authors share how they go about this daily work of writing while leading you into a quieter world where you can rediscover your creative soul. These books by Shawn Smucker, Andi Cumbo-Floyd, and Ed Cyzewski include:
Building A Life Out of Words, by Shawn Smucker
There are times when life doesn’t turn out as you expected. Then there are times when life punches you in the gut, takes your wallet, and leaves you hanging upside down by your toenails.
2009 was one of those times for me (the gut-punching kind). My construction business faltered after the housing bubble burst, and my wife and I found ourselves in $50,000 worth of debt. Then came the toughest decision of our young lives: we left the community we loved and moved into my parents' basement in search of a simpler life.
Part of the change included laying aside my aspirations for wealth and taking up the vocation of my dreams: I would try to make money writing full time. This is the story of my first year doing exactly that.
I would try to build a life out of words.
Also included in the book are nine essays from folks who make money writing – they share unique tips on how to find writing work and how to improve your craft. Contributors include Andi Cumbo, Bryan Allain, Ed Cyzewski, Jason Boyett, Jeff Goins, Jennifer Luitwieler, Ken Mueller, Kristin Tennant, and Stacy Barton.
Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together, by Ed Cyzewski
If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing. If you want to improve your writing life, try praying.
The two require many of the same practices, disciplines, and virtues. If you’re already inclined to both write and pray, you may as well figure out how they can help each other. If you’re experienced in one, you may find opportunities for personal or spiritual growth by trying out the other.
This book offers life-giving practices that will help you grow in both prayer and writing and show how the two can work together to improve your craft as a writer and your spiritual practices as a person of faith.
Writing Day In and Day Out: Living a Practice of Words, by Andi Cumbo-Floyd
It's not an easy thing to take time to write. The world says that writing doesn't matter much. Our families and jobs need us. We have to make money. The ugly voices in our head tell us we're not good enough. There are a ton of reasons why we choose to not write. . . and yet, if we are writers, we must find a way to the page. Over and over again.
Often one of the hardest things for writers is allowing ourselves the time and space to write when so many other obligations fill our time. Writing Day in and Day Out is a book for writers who would like to find that time and space and build a practice of writing in their daily lives.
In this intimate volume, Cumbo-Floyd tells about her own writing practice, shares suggestions - but never rules - for how you might find a way to more words in your daily life, and offers encouragement for the days when writing seems to be too far away or too painful.
Andi Cumbo-Floyd is writer, editor, and writing teacher who lives on the 15-acre God's Whisper Farm that she and her husband own at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are building a place of respite, relaxation, and renewal for all people, particularly writers and musicians.
Her books include God's Whisper Manifesto and The Slaves Have Names: Ancestors of my Home.
You can read more of her work and find out about their farm at www.andilit.com.