The reality of writing

Sometimes, the act of writing is exhilarating.  It’s like running through a meadow with the wind in your hair, wild and weightless.

And sometimes, it’s like unpacking an entire moving van and hauling the boxes to a fourth-floor walkup.

That’s why I really like these words  from the writer Madeline L’Engle:

For me, to work on a book is the same thing as to pray.  Both involve that unpopular word discipline. If an artist works only when he feels like it, he’s not  apt to build up a body of work.  Inspiration comes far more often during work, as things get rolling, than before you sit at the typewriter.  This is because the largest part of the job of the artist is to listen.  To listen to the work and to go where it tells you to go. And this involves faith.  Letting go of your own control and having faith in something you do not control.

To pray is also to listen.  To move through my own chattering to God, to get beyond those  words to that place where I can be silent and then listen to what God may have to say.

Excerpt from Madeline L’Engle, Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life, edited by Carole F. Chase.

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