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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Living To Write or Writing To Live?

coffee_journal_mills1983-flickr_attrib_noderivsSomeone the other day asked how it was that I ended up writing a book.

On a week like this one, when I’m under another self-imposed deadline to finish a second draft, the answer probably would be “God knows!” But the question sparked some reflection on why I am writing in the first place. After all, there are so many good reasons not to write:

a) I don’t make money for it- unless the loose change for blogging each month counts.

b) I may one day find that something I wrote will come back to haunt me like a bad case of heartburn, and I’ll wish I hadn’t said those things.

c) The amount of time I find myself writing and then rewriting causes me to wonder whether I have a bad case of OCD (when in fact I’m told by others who have written books that the seemingly endless revisions are a normal part of the process).

d) I might actually have more of a social life, so that those glasses of wine I imbibed this past weekend…alone…at the monastery…in front of a computer screen (shh), might instead be enjoyed with girlfriends on a happening night at the club.

e) Writing doesn’t really make me any happier, per say: I don’t live to write; I’m not one of those writers who regularly wakes up with some inspirational idea and cannot wait to put it down on paper.

So, why write in the first place?

I am writing to live. Sounds cliche-ish, I know, but it’s true. I write so that the sometimes tedious, sometimes random, sometimes wondrous life I am living makes just a bit more sense; and if my life, with its detours, U-turns, dead ends and breakdowns can derive more meaning, more reason to be lived well, more purpose and truth, then yours can, too. So I really am writing for both of us.

Which is what I need to remind myself on a week like this one when another deadline looms. If you are someone who prays, will you pray for me? That God will take the dust of my words and fashion it into something life-giving?

That’s all for this week. I’ll miss you, but I’ll be here again at this intersection between life and God starting next week. Come by again if you like.

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