Sometimes, when your head hurts and your bills pile up and your muse is on holiday (again) and the other members of your household are making enough racket to wake the deaf and the world is crashing down upon you … sometimes, the only thing to do is pray.
We all understand the concept of “prayer;” when we pray, we communicate with God. When we pray formulaic prayers, such as the Our Father, we speak to God; when we pray “freestyle,”* we [try to] speak with God. A lot of “freestyle” prayer requires humble listening. We have to stop our “please, God, may I have … ?” and say instead, “I’m listening.”
As writers, however, how do we pray? Writers have difficulty listening. They train themselves to focus on words, and so they hear very well, but it is difficult for them (us) to stop and truly listen. They listen to people’s words, and they use those words to make sense of the world around them. They listen to the voices in their heads to make sense of other people’s words. God doesn’t speak in words, however — or at least, not to the average writer. God speaks in conscience and virtue and soul; He doesn’t communicate in tangible or even definable methods. Perhaps this means that sometimes a writer must stop being a writer and be only a pray-er. To be prayer itself? To offer oneself as prayer? Is this possible? Is this thinkable? Am I still acting as a writer and over-thinking something again?
Sometimes, the only thing to do is pray.
And sometimes, the only thing to do is pray and listen to Gregorian chant and promise yourself another episode of “Sherlock” if you get a blog post written.
* Is there a theological term for this? Also, a nod to Mere Inkling for subconscious non-divine inspiration for this post 🙂