The Intersection of Writing & Prayer

May 24, 2020


We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.  - St. Teresa of Avila

Over the last few weeks I found myself working on my new inspirational romance almost everyday.  I was happy with my progress.  And then I hit a snag.

Looking back I'm not sure quite how it happened.  All I know is that I started to think about some of my old unpublished manuscripts and then I began to wonder if I might be able to use some of that work in whole or in part.

So I traveled back down that path to the place I used to write from.

It was fun to read the old stuff, at first, and in many ways I was pleased with the writing.  While I was no longer personally interested in paranormal or fantasy fiction, I knew that the genres were still popular with others.  Probably more popular, I reasoned, than the genre I'm working in now.

I decided that it might make sense to revise and publish some of those manuscripts.

As I began to edit I was struck by how much my values had changed.  I kept on going but in the back of mind there was a growing sense of unease. That unease persisted and eventually peaked late one night.

It was one of those long sleepless nights that everyone hates.  I stared at the ceiling, cycling through a familiar litany of problems and worries until, at three in the morning, I staryed to think about the preceding week. 

I  had been busy. So busy that I hadn't had time for my rosary or my daily missal or that Sunday's YouTube mass. But I'd had busier weeks and still made time. Something was wrong. I felt as if I was disconnecting from my faith. And I couldn't help wondering if it had something to do with the manuscripts I was working on.

But the writing was solid and work was going well. I didn't want it to be that.  I wanted to get my old work out there. So I set all of that aside. I said the rosary and then I said some other prayers.  Just before I fell asleep, I prayed for direction in regard to my writing.

What should I do, I asked.  Is this the right direction. Show me.

The next day I was too tired to edit so I did some market research I'd learned about in an ebook called Write to Market instead. When I was done, I wrote 'Best Genres for Me' on the top of a yellow legal pad and then I wrote down numbers one through four.

Interestingly none of the genres I used to write in made that list.  But the one I had just stepped away from in order to revisit the past, did.

As I thought about the research I realized that my prayer for direction had been answered. God was still listening even when I probably didn't deserve to be heard.

I know that this probably seems unremarkable. I know that the world isn't going to change in any way appreciable way thanks to one more inspirational romance. But I also know know that most of us arent called to make big changes. We're called to love our families and live our faith and take the abilities we're given and do what we do with integrity.

Last week I wasn't doing that fully. But I am now.

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