Friday Favorites for Prayer and Writing

Welcome to Friday Favorites, our weekly round-up of great reads and audios on the web. This fall, Prasanta Verma joins The Contemplative Writer, and she’ll be helping me bring you a selection of links to enrich your prayer and writing life.

Prasanta will be focusing on the writerly side of things, and she’ll also be making you aware of upcoming conferences of note. Prasanta is an accomplished poet and writer; find her bio here.

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Lisa’s links

Prayer as Mystery via Macrina Wiederkehr (calling on the Divine in times of trouble)

Changing Our Posture by Practicing Gratitude via Grace P. Cho (slowing down our minds and our hearts to remember, recount, and recognize…)

How Thomas Keating Gently Introduced Me to Centering Prayer via Ed Cyzewksi (discovering the gentleness of God in prayer)

 

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Prasanta’s links

Three Poems by St. Augustine via the Englewood Review of Books

Breathe Christian Writers Conference (encourages and equips writers to tell their stories; includes writers who have been featured here on Friday Favorites and is coming up on Oct. 18-19 in Grand Rapids, MI)

The Habit Podcast: Mark Meynell (this episode explores the writer’s responsibility in a culture of cynicism and contempt)

 

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Recommended Newsletters

 

We won’t always include this section, but this week, both Lisa and Prasanta have author newsletters to recommend. Consider subscribing to the following —

Charity Singleton Craig’s monthly newsletter (full of writerly thoughts and resources)

Hope Notes via Tina Osterhouse (a weekly letter with encouragement for your soul)

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Why We Need Solitude, Especially for Creativity

Solitude and giving ourselves short breaks throughout the day for our minds to wander aren’t just healthy for our spiritual practices. They can also help us with our creative work. The following article from LifeHacker explores the research behind creativity, and the ways that we can nurture creative thinking.

The short version is that taking a walk can be extremely good for both your prayer practices and for your creative project!

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“What Barron found was that the most creative thinkers all exhibited certain common traits: an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for ambiguity and complexity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray (and vodka and orange juice if we’re talking about Capote); and the ability to extract order from chaos.”

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“From a social, cultural, and scientific standpoint, creativity seems to come more freely when we’re able to utilize the parts of our brain that are less connected to reality and more free flowing in nature.”

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“In almost every ‘system’ of creativity devised, the most important part of the process involves a letting go of your consciousness to let the deeper parts of your mind come in and make connections. Without incubation—that space away from direct thought—there is no Eureka!”

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“One of the traits that Barron found during his creativity study was that creative people are more introspective. But not only in the sense that they have an increased level of self-awareness, but that they also have a familiarity with the darker and more uncomfortable parts of their psyche.

You’ve probably read about the creative benefits of daydreaming, but one of the things that is rarely mentioned in these essays is the importance of uninhibited daydreaming—not letting your brain filter the thoughts coming into your head.”

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Read more…

 

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