Since I started writing several years ago, I have learned a ton from other writers and their books. Some of my favorite writing mentors are:
1. Anne Lamott because she taught me I can write about faith in a way that's authentic and honors the gray areas. Some of my favorite books by Lamott are Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions, and Traveling Mercies. (I guess I prefer her earlier stuff over her more recent stuff.)
2. Frederick Buechner because he writes about his life and faith in ways that are welcoming to all. He uses sensory details that help his readers believe he is a trustworthy narrator and help them connect what they have known in their own lives to what he shares from his life. Some of my favorite books of his are The Sacred Journey, The Remarkable Ordinary, and his sermon collections.
4. Lia Purpura because she taught me about repetition. Purpura's poetry background shines through her essays while she uses repetition in a way that incites enchantment and attention. I really like On Looking.
5. Lauren Winner is my favorite author who writes about faith. She's also one of my favorite people. I had the honor of learning so many things about writing from her while earning my MFA when she was my faculty mentor. Lauren taught me how to kill unnecessary words in my writing and to give attention to what might be swirling around beneath my first drafts. My favorite books of Lauren's are Still and Wearing God.