Monday, April 29, 2013

The Struggling Writer’s Prayer

I'm in the middle of my current WIP and, given how much My Hockey Mom's Prayer has resonated with the struggles of one aspect of my life, I thought I'd jot down another prayer to get me (and hopefully some of you) through the struggle that is writing a book. I hope you get through your first draft relatively unscathed. I'm in the thick of the battle and I hope to see you on the other side!

The Struggling Writer's Prayer

May I find the strength today to open up my document and not be completely paralyzed by the blankness of the page.

May I grant myself forgiveness if I don’t reach a milestone word count, page count, hours count. Sometimes it is enough to just stare at the page, knowing it is there, and that I have gathered the strength to face it.

May I kick myself in the butt hard enough to write down a word, a sentence, a paragraph, even if I think it is horrible.

May I find the strength of will not to immediately delete the word, the sentence, the paragraph, even if I think it is horrible.

May I have the grace to accept the limitations of my writing, the intelligence to recognize its faults, and the determination to keep working at it to make it better.

May I take the time to celebrate the small successes, like finishing a chapter, figuring out the next plot point, or describing a scene.

May I have the courage to kill my darling, hard-fought-for words, and not think I am regressing. May I remember that sometimes to win a war you must retreat in battle and re-group so that the next attack comes out harder, more strategized and infinitely improved.

And, most of all, may I remember that I am not alone, even though it seems like it. That other writers are facing that blank page, those horrible words, that awful immensity of the challenge ahead and that they are there to offer support, humour, wisdom and, most importantly, wine and chocolate. That one day, the blank page will be filled, that despair will turn to elation, that you will have climbed the mountain and can sit at its peak, drinking your wine and eating that chocolate, and know, in that most fulfilling part of yourself, that you have written a book.