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.



Previous Posts

Writing Sabbatical—and "The Departure of the Prodigal Son"
I'm sorry: my absenteeism at this intersection can be attributed to a number of things lately, the most pressing of which is my forthcoming book with author and Christian addiction specialist Jonathan Benz. The book (Prodigal Church or a version of it) is now officially under deadline and by April 1

posted 10:55:10am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Restless Soul Hall of Fame: Sister Corita Kent
Since NPR's recent segment, Sister Corita Kent has come to mind a few times this week as someone who d

posted 10:23:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »

"I Am Charlie Hebdo"
I struggle to know how to greet you after such a long hiatus from posting here—and in light of how much has happened in the world since Christmas

posted 4:42:48pm Jan. 12, 2015 | read full post »

A Christmas Homily
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. —Luke 2:6,7 The sheer physicality of this picture strikes me this Christmas. The ba

posted 1:54:50pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »




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