Prayer & Writing

I don't want to complain too much. Talking about my job and how ill-suited to it I have become is worth only a certain number of pixels and I've exceeded that number. I'm sure I'll go deeper into the red on that, but here I want to talk about falling behind, feeling rushed, and the accompanying feelings for writing. Some call this writer's block, but it's something else entirely.

In the few moments I've had for writing the last three days not much has happened. I've been tired, rushed, and doubtful about any of my ideas. This isn't writer's block. I just lacked faith and didn't have time to let writing take me back into the land of believing.

These things happen.

Though I haven't written a blog post every day, each morning I wake early and write three Morning Pages by hand. No one will ever see those pages. I wrote them for myself and just to be writing.

Morning Pages are one way to keep in the habit of writing and that daily practice builds faith. I imagine it like prayer for the doubtful and am reminded of this Thomas Merton prayer:

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

I replace God with writing and think of Morning Pages as a kind of prayer. I fall behind in publishing the blog and assembling pieces for submission, but I return to the daily practice of the pen, the pages, and the act of writing. "I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire" and trust that I will, someday and in some way I may not yet understand, find a lasting rhythm that carries me through my days.

Given that I began this day, as I have every day for almost five years, filling Morning Pages, maybe I already have.