Monday, May 23, 2011

Writing and 8 headed monsters

I will be posting an interview I did with Jason Boyett, author of O Me of Little Faith, on Wednesday.  Jason has spent the last couple of weeks fielding questions about the rapture, but since we're all still here, he asked me to write a guest post for his blog. My article is about the agony and grace of writing. Here's a preview:

A writer friend once told me that her writing process involved letting her ideas drip down from her mind through her arms and into her fingers. What a beautiful image, I thought to myself, and what a total load of crap. Writing a book is like giving birth to a snarling 8-headed monster. It’s a war, and your mind, arms, and fingers all hate each other.

Elsewhere I’ve said that writing is a spiritual discipline, one of those practices that consciously places us in the presence of God, that opens our souls to being transformed. And if that summons a picture of a monk reading his Bible serenely in a corner, think for a moment about your own process of praying and reading the Bible. If you make it 5 minutes without distraction (squirrel!), boredom, or drowsiness, then it’s been a big spiritual day for you. We must keep fighting to turn and return our attention to the Lord, to muffle the other voices that tell us we don’t measure up, that we’re not being productive enough, that we’re lost, that God doesn’t hear our prayers. The discipline of writing is no different.

Read the rest of the article, entitled "The Phases of Writing" and be sure to come back on Wednesday to read his interview. Jason is a funny and insightful guy. We'll talk about doubt, introversion, and the swirling debate on hell.