Many writing instructors teach writing through autobiography. By considering the lives of others and then contemplating their own lives, aspiring writers discover a wellspring of material that can be used in their prose. While not explicitly for courses, this book follows a similar pedagogical line, focusing specifically on the philosophical and spiritual questions that every person faces in the course of meeting life's challenges. How the Light Gets In encourages readers to contemplate their lives through spiritual observation and exploratory writing. It guides readers through the process in 17 concise thematic chapters that include meditations on fear, freedom, silence, secrets, joy, prayer, tradition, forgiveness, service, social justice, aging, and death. Short poems by Schneider begin each chapter. Schneider's book is distinct from the many other books in the popular spirituality and creative writing genre by virtue of its approach, using one's lived experience, including the experience of writing, as a springboard for writing about beliefs and faith. As her many followers would attest, Schneider writes with particular clarity and immediacy about the writing process.
Her belief that writing about one's life leads to greater consciousness, satisfaction, and wisdom energizes the book and carries the reader gracefully difficult topics.