Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What is a Spiritual Writer by Joyce Anthony

Before we can discuss spirituality in our writing, we need to define the word spiritual. Webster, in 1913, states that the word spiritual comes from the Latin word spiritualis, meaning breathing, wind. He defines spiritual as “of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit”.

In more recent times, it has been spiritual has been defined as “having to do with deep feelings and beliefs, including a person’s sense of peace, purpose, connection to others, and beliefs about the meaning of life.”

Both of these definitions describe the path a writer takes when writing what they most enjoy. Every word we write reflects our inner sense of what is right and wrong. It shows how we think of the world around us and the people that inhabit that world. It is rare to find a writer who’s main characters to not hold values and beliefs similar to their own. We may have minor characters differ from us on a spiritual level, but look at your main characters, examine what they believe at the very basic level—do you see your own beliefs?

What we write also affects the spirit, the spirit of those who read our words. It doesn’t matter whether someone likes or dislikes what we have written—t has, in some way, touched that person, awakened emotions deep inside that enabled them to make the decision as to what that piece means to them and their lives.

If you are writing what you are passionate about, you are writing spiritually. Your soul, or spirit, that which is in essence your very life’s breath, is reflected in your words. It is this writing that is your best, for it is your truest self. Look at what you write carefully. Does it reflect your true self? Are you following the path your spirit has laid before you, is your passion coming through.

Ask yourself: Do my words flow freely? Would I be upset if someone were to mistake my main character’s beliefs as my own? Do I feel I have given all in my writing? Does my writing create some strong emotion—regardless of what one? If you can answer yes to these questions, you are a spiritual writer—regardless of what genre you write.


Joyce A. Anthony is a Pennsylvania-born writer who shares her home with a passion for writing, photography and life in general. Joyce has a Psychology background which she uses in her role an bipolar expert on She has written numerous articles on parenting and mental health issues. She has published one short story previous to Storm. While not writing, Miss Anthony spends time homeschooling her son, doing genealogy research and working on her photography. In between times, she advocates for homeless and abused animals and abused children. Joyce is in the editing stages of her next book, a non-fiction piece entitled Spirit of the Stallion and has two other nagging at her to get them written.


  1. Lovely article, Joyce. It's funny 'cause while my main characters generally do have a piece of me in them, I strive to separate myself from them and get angry when people say 'oh, so and so is SO you!'

  2. Thanks for reading, Dana. It isn't so much whether or not the character is like you--true spiritual writing (which isn't necessary for everyone to write) makes you decide if you would be embarassed to be caught in the same situation or acting like your character. I think spiritual writing is actually just one of many, many categories-it is just the one I gravitate towards :-)