Question from Michelle …

I am a 23 year old college grad, a writer and actress, but I have always felt very called to God in some way. I feel as if I should write about spirituality… but I’m unsure what to write! Anyway… this “calling” (I hesitate to call it that because I’m really not sure)– has gotten stronger lately, but the problem is that I dont have anyone to talk to about it. I live in New York City with a lot of actor/artist friends, and generally when you talk to them about religion, they get uncomfortable. I have lost some friends this way. I also work at a church, and every time I attempt to talk to a priest about it, they seem as if they dont really have time for me.

Dear Michelle, Thanks for writing — sorry for the delay in responding. Very cool combination of talents you have! Spirituality is a great topic to write about — especially because it is in everything we are and do! It’s about seeking something deeper, something “more than” … it’s about being aware and present to the moment, to where you are and to how God is calling you. I encourage you to tend to your feeling of wanting to write about spirituality.

The Soul Tells A Story: Engaging Creativity With Spirituality In The Writing Life.One of the best authors on this subject is Vinita Hampton Wright. Vinita is one of the reasons I got back into writing. Back in 2004 I did a retreat with her called “The Soul Tells a Story”. It rocked my world!

Seriously the retreat changed how I thought about myself as a writer and Vinita gave me wonderful skills and encouragement to persevere, to delight in, to reverence the art of writing. Vinita still does these retreats and she has a book on the same topic — The Soul Tells A Story: Engaging Creativity With Spirituality In The Writing Life.

I encourage you to pursue this calling, Michelle, and to think on those elements of the spiritual life that attract you, that intrigue you, and maybe that even scare you! Those are good places to start. Also, read good literature and spiritually-minded authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Virginia Woolf (especially Mrs. Dalloway). In terms of non-fiction type stuff, start with some of the classics by the saints and holy people of various religious traditions. And you can always check in with me. I’ve always wanted to be part of a spiritual writers club!

Now in terms of having folks to talk with, let me put it out to the A Nun’s Life community here — Any suggestions for Michelle to connect with writing groups online or in NYC that deal with writing spirituality? Any nuns in the area who would enjoy hooking up for spiritual conversation with Michelle?