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Writing for Your Life: Discovering the Story of Your Life's Journey
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Writing for Your Life: Discovering the Story of Your Life's Journey

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In the tradition of Annie Dillard and Natalie Goldberg, this resource for writers and non-writers alike shows the act of writing to be a dynamic means of knowing, healing, and creating the body, mind, and spirit.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 20th 1992 by HarperOne
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May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: about-writing

-This book has some of the most creative and deepest writing prompts I've ever experienced.
-Those who follow the writing exercises will derive both personal and professional insight.
-This book can be used by writers of all levels.

-The author disses "genre" writing--particularly horror and romance--as lacking inner truth. Sure, there is genre writing that is purely commercial entertainment, but there are many exceptions (the work of Stephen King, Philip K. Dick, Audrey Niffenegger, Dodi
Joel Friedlander
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is partly a writing instruction book that relies on Deena Metzger's deep insight into human psychology and part self-therapy. Following her exercises is an incredible opportunity for any writer to "go deeper" on the themes and stories that are the most meaningful for us. While some of the later chapters didn't interest me as much, working through her writing prompts lead me to many marvelous and unsuspected insights and stories.

Highly recommended.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Nearly every line is quotable about the power of story to expand our awareness and our lives, how our life is lived out as part of archetypal myths. She touches on all the important things that inspire us to write--creativity, growth, transformation, digging deep into our souls for the wisdom that is hidden. Read it for the first time, read it again. It will fill your soul.
Adriana Diaz
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a writer's resource for a lifetime. Deena Metzler is, first of all, a great writer, and a therapist (a Jungian, I think) so her presentation of archetypal material and perspectives is important for those who have never heard of Campbell, or Jung, himself.
The exercises are excellent. They are things for people who are serious about writing and about personal growth. The exercises are also often illustrated by works of her students.
There is a downside to this book, and that's why I haven't
Abner Rosenweig
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'd been stalled in an enormous writing block and bought this book along with several others in hopes of getting unstuck. Not only did Ms. Metzger's soothing prose help unstick me, I was stunned to find inside her book a great deal about story and myth, some of the wisest, most lucid, most beautiful exposition on the subjects I've read anywhere. The book's medicine worked. It helped me to feel comfortable and safe again navigating the daunting solitary path of the writer's life. For me, the weak ...more
Sep 29, 2010 added it
Deena was my mentor and neighbor for several years. I know most of the stories in this book from having been in her class in the 1980's Excellent for the writer's library, be she new or seasoned.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm uncertain how this book came into my possession, but possess it, I do. Tucked within its pages, I found an old receipt and the faded ink tells me that it was bought at McKay Books in Nashville, in 2007. My first trip to Nashville wasn't until 2010, and I did go to McKay's, but not in 2007. In any case, I needed to read this book, this year.

After going through a traumatic health emergency and incurring great loss, I need to heal. And this book shares a process on how to do that through writin
Ronna Jevne & Harold Martin
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has survived the test of time. I still recommend it if people can access it. It's message is timeless, the exercises reflective, and the wisdom enduring. The publication of this book was long before narrative therapy was popular yet the chapter on story is the best I have read in three decades. I love the beginning exercise: "Imagine that your are at the end of your life. Without hesitating, without thinking, record the story you have lived in five sentences." The writing exercises Met ...more
Tsehai Essie
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent insights for writers willing to journey to the depths and heights of the inner worlds to bring back treasures clothed in words. Deena illuminates those worlds and calls from within, as a guide and beckoning assurance, that although arduous, you can trust the deep process of writing and know that the journey is well worth it. I used this in my classrooms with aspiring young writers with beautiful results.
This book is help us for many types of problems in life..
Mari Mann
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
I was recently given a large stack of books about writing. They were given to me by a used bookstore owner who was told by the person that gave them to him, to give them to "someone special". As a writer, that person was me. They were all previously owned by the same person and this person underlined a lot and wrote little comments like "Yes!" and "Aha!" in the margins. When I first began reading these books, the heavy use of underlining was a bit irritating, but as I come to the end of the stac ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
The book has some good ideas on writing and writing our life, writing the self in us. However, the book chases rabbits and one has to bear with her digression and jumping from one subject to the next. Well, I felt like I needed to plough and it was not reading smoothly like the books of Julia Cameron. Julia got me spoiled, I guess. I also don't like the fact that she is a bit too much New Age, even though I consider myself open-minded and I have plenty of space within me for different schools of ...more
Heidi Draffin
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have purchased eight or nine copies of this book over the years to give to friends, knowing how hard it is to act on other people's reading suggestions. It is hard not to want to spend time with the author, walking with her thoughts. She feels like someone I'd be glad dropped by and stayed for dinner. She did stay in my thoughts and is there whenever I need a wise friend so to speak with. The writing exercise "Things I didn't know I loved" opened a portal for me and I stepped through. It was a ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: writers and folks who want to be writers
I read some of this book when I lived in Austin. I even did some writing exercises from this book and really liked the poems I ended up with. I don't remember why I lost interest in this book. I do know it sat on my shelf for a long, long time and at some point before I moved, I sold it or gave it away. I think that was a dumb move. I would like to have a copy of this book again.
Phila Hoopes
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a book not for reading but for to read and reread and follow step by step, engaging in writing not only as a path to greater self-knowledge, but also to fit one's personal story into a grander mosaic. Deena Metzger is a trailblazer on the sacred Way of Story for healing, community building and peacemaking, and this is her masterful guidebook.
Shaktima Brien
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book inspired me to polish and publish my memoir. It is an invaluable tool to awaken creativity and dig deep in your own "larger story" (archetypes, fairy tales, myths). The author ends with a chapter on "Writing as a Spiritual Practice", a promise of fill your days with meaning.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing, wordy-things
Good writing practices and exercises but kind of difficult to get into.
Jean Marie Angelo
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great ideas and excercises for those speaking their truth.
I recall finding this somewhat helpful in teaching, but I don't remember the specifics of the book. I will have to go dig it out of the basement.
I couldn't get into it. I'll try again some other time.
I went through a phase where I read a lot of books about storytelling and journaling, oral histories, etc. I remember this being one of the better books of that sort.
susan heibert
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Sep 14, 2018
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Deby Jizi
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