One of the reasons why I look for resources on spirituality and the arts is that deep-down doubts about whether I have anything worthwhile to say occasionally surface. Coming to the belief that writing is a sacred call–for me, a “call within” the vocation of being a Daughter of Saint Paul–has allowed me to lean on my faith when I feel particularly inadequate, challenged, or as empty as the cursor blinking on my blank screen.
For me, the daily struggle is to get started. If I can plunge right in, then I’m usually okay. But I write better if, instead of just plunging in, I do some “pre-writing”– journaling or a writing exercise that loosens me up. After twenty or forty minutes, the temptation to procrastinate returns because: a) writing is such hard work and b) my own personal brand of unredeemed pessimism–that I’ll fail on my next writing project, whatever it is.
These kinds of temptations no longer surprise me. And temptations they are: temptations to shirk my call to write today. This morning, I was able to get around it–writing this prayer became my prayer:
To Be Your Pen
Jesus, my Beloved,
I entrust to You the desires of my heart:
to serve You and Your people
to be Your pen, Your voice,
to speak from the heart
to gently draw others to You
to understand and cherish who You made me to be
to encounter You daily, deeply, in my writing
to discover and pass on the freedom that comes only from You.
The other drosslike desires
I also entrust to You,
to purify or to do with as You will:
my unrealistic desires to please everyone
my desires for admiration and recognition
my need to prove myself.
I offer all of my day today, all my joys and difficulties,
the pain and the fatigue,
the unending effort of heightened concentration,
the risk of revealing too much of myself,
the daring it takes to be ultimately honest,
so that whatever I communicate, however I communicate,
will be to Your glory
and the deepening of Your life in others.