The Right to Write: Writing as Prayer (book club)

image by Lívia Cristina L. C.

image by Lívia Cristina L. C.

This post is part of my 31 Days of the Almost Empty Nest series. My Wednesday book club series is a part of the journey—a way of exploring creativity during this season. I’m writing in community with the thirty-one dayers. Women all over the world are joining together in the month of October to write every day about something they’re passionate about. Check out some of the other writers here. So much good stuff. To read my first post, with links to all the days, go here.

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In the mornings, when I pray, I light a candle. When my quiet time is over, I carry the candle from room to room with me as I ready myself for the day. One morning my husband, a great reformer, teased me about my Jesus candle.

Do you really think God needs you to light that candle to come and be with you?

The candle, I told him, is not for God. It’s for me. All I need do is glance at its flickering light and I am reminded that He is here.

Because I tend to forget.

In this week’s book club readings of the Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, Julia Cameron tells me to perceive writing as channeling spiritual information rather than inventing intellectual information

She reminds me why I write.

Although we seldom talk about it in these terms, writing is a means of prayer. It connects us to the invisible world. It gives us a gate or a conduit for the other world to talk to us whether we call it the subconscious, the unconscious, the superconscious, the imagination, or the Muse. Writing gives us a place to welcome more than the rational. It opens the door to inspiration. It opens the door to God or, if you would, to “Good Orderly Direction.” Writing is a spiritual housekeeper…

I don’t call it the subconscious, the unconscious or the superconscious. I might call it the imagination or the Muse. But I know where these things come from. When I recognize that writing is an extension of my spiritual listening…this is when life takes on a beauty formerly unseen.

Writing is a candle for me—a reminder of the sacred in the mundane. Words flicker on the page and common moments are illuminated.

I notice my life.

What about you? Have you experienced writing as prayer? Have you ever felt God was writing through you? Have you used writing to help connect to and integrate your life?

Three more chapters for next week: Credibility, Place, and Happiness. See you on the page.

Week 6: The Letter
Week 5: I Go Alone
Week 4: Witness
Week 3: Invite the Muse to Tea
Week 2: Write from Love
Week 1: Start Where You Are
Introduction: Invitation

Above image by Lívia Cristina L. C., sourced via Flickr, used with permission.

Almost Empty

Comments

  1. says

    I’d say that my personal blog is writing as a form of prayer. I related to this chapter immensely. When my well runs dry, I usually turn to prayer. “What do you want me to write about next, Lord?” He never fails to give me subject matter if I am observant during my day.

    • says

      I agree, Lyli. Your blog is a prayerful place. I remember when I first read this chapter. I was a little nervous about all the stuff on “channeling.” It did feel too new agey. I wrote my first draft and sent it on to my amazing managing editor at the time, Laura Barkat. She immediately called me. We talked for a long time and she helped me to realize that this is really what Julia is saying: be open to the Holy Spirit. When my well runs dry, my playdates fill me again. The artist date is a variation of this. It’s exciting to me to listen to what great teachers have to give through my Christian worldview. I don’t need to disregard good teaching just because it’s not “Christian.” I’m glad you heard that too.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Day one: Dizzy Day two: The Not-Alone Alone Day three: World Communion Day four: The Night Between Two Days Day five: Every Little Thing Day six: I Go Alone Day seven: Full Day eight: Disappointment Day nine: Secret Ingredient Day ten: Anniversary Giveaway! Day eleven: Dinner for Two Day twelve: Two Natures Day thirteen: A Table the Reaches Across the Miles Day fourteen: Growing Season Day fifteen: Horsepen Mountain Day sixteen: Unlocking Time Day seventeen: Writing as Prayer […]

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