Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Writer's Prayer


On a recent adventure, I accompanied my Beloved on a business trip to Malaysia. He did his thing in the corporate arena, and I got to spend my days at the keyboard, spitting out those words we all love to chase. 


I had no internet. (Gasp)


No household chores beckoned, and there were no kids to drag me out of my writing world. I did have a very kind 'butler' (I know... don't hate me!) who serviced the hotel's lounge where I spent my hours. 


She delivered a steady stream of coffee whenever my cup ran dry. She replenished the buffet, where tropical fruits and sinful pastries winked at me all day. And, she smiled her encouragement when I took laps of the room to stretch my legs and roll my author shoulders. 


Can you imagine a more perfect writing day? Food and drink on tap, and total quiet. Once the breakfast traffic faded, I was glad to call that lounge my own for the rest of the morning, and well into the afternoon. I know you will not be surprised to hear, my word count reflected the benefits of full-time writing. I slammed that word count, and doubled it for good measure!


And then I had to go home. 


Home to the real world, which in my case, is sadly understaffed in the butler department. 


In my real world, words come slower, chased by the many demands no one could ever juggle, as well as I'm meant to. Here, my words are couched in the realities of life which dictate mood and enthusiasm. Tempered by commitments. Shadowed by my other loves. 


So how do we reconcile the requirements of writing, with life as we know it? From where do we snatch the minutes to add to our chapters?


I know from experimentation, an hour of my time is worth between 600 and 1000 words. But what if I sit for my allocated writing time and my head is not in tune with the task? How do I find 'Author Dotti' when 'Mama Dotti' is still in the room with a basket of washing on her hip? How do I dismiss 'Friend Dotti' when she still needs to cry for a sister, or 'Real Dotti' when her own burdens are too heavy?


I have found the best way to secure myself for writing, is to centre myself in Christ. Over the years I've collected writer's prayers which help me face the writing hour under the banner of Him who loves me most. 


So here's my prayer for 2012, penned by Sandy Tritt. Better than a butler, it's a New Year's gift, from me... to you. Be blessed. 


The Writer's Prayer

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, 
so my words go down rich and smooth, 
like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more. 

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters...
  their hopes, their wants, their dreams,
 and help me to confer that empathy to my reader. 

Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom,
 and creativity from beyond my self. 
Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.

But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth,
 so my fiction is more honest than actuality, 
and reaches the depths of my reader's soul. 

Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance,
 and the strength to resist those who insist it can't be done.  

Amen

..................................

Dorothy Adamek writes Historical Romance. Visit her at her blog Ink Dots.




21 comments:

  1. 'But what if I sit for my allocated writing time and my head is not in tune with the task?' This is nasty. It's so disappointing when you're up to drafting a 'good bit' and... nothing comes. I'm tempted to bemoan that prayers are not always answered in the affirmative, but that wouldn't be for the best (for reasons I hope to understand one day).

    I was going to offer my own facetious version of the prayer: 'Lord, grant me a couple of months in Dorothy's hotel in Malaysia.'

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    1. Ha, Peter. I may add that Malaysia prayer to the others! I'm with you though, on looking forward to understanding some of God's answers to prayer, one day. For now I rest on who He is within my understanding, blessed to know there is much more to discover our minds cannot fathom just now. Blessings :)

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  2. Man, I love how you pen a phrase! You leave me drooling to read your first novel every time.

    Aside from that, I'm sure we all identify with trying to get our other roles out of our heads to just write, and when you have limited time, it is harder. Like you, some days I sit there staring at the screen - wasting my precious writing minutes with ummmmm ...

    Amen to the prayer, may the Lord help us all. :)

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    1. You are such an encourager!! Thank you :)

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  3. Thank you Dotti.
    And Peter - the wonderful thing about prayer is that even if it isn't always answered in the affirmative, God remains constant. Our writing will blow away with the dust, but he remains.

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    1. Yes, Penny, how wonderful to hold onto the truth that God never changes! Blessings :)

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  4. Thank you Dorothy. Beautiful prayer, and well worth coming back to over and over. Even though I agree, Peter, that prayer isn't always answered just as we'd like, I believe we can trust God to answer them as we need. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, so keep praying.

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    1. Hi Carol, always happy to share with my writing buddies! Blessings :)

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  5. Lovely post Dotti and what a wonderful prayer. Thank you! I fully understood what you talked about because my family had a holiday in Melbourne last month. And yes, I enjoyed the same! No Internet - but a computer to use and my boys away every other day while I enjoyed my writer-time to the full. Loved it. I didn't have that butler you spoke of - but just as well since my waist-line didn't need more pampering! :)

    Peter - I hope your prayer gets answered. :) You know what I think? I think that God ALWAYS answers in the affirmative. Just that it sometimes not in OUR affirmative! But always HIS affirmative if you get my gist? :)

    As Carol said - yep - let's keep praying and moving with His ways for us - we know He is trustworthy and we are blessed indeed.
    Anusha

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    1. Hi Anusha, sounds like your time in Melbourne ticked many boxes! What a shame we didn't connect while you were here. Maybe next time. Blessings :)

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    2. Thanks for the beautiful prayer, Dorothy.
      I love collecting inspiring material like that too. I'm glad you made the most of your day in Malaysia with the butler.

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    3. Thanks, Paula :) It was almost a week, actually. I had a great time bonding with the butler and hearing her stories about work life in a large hotel, and the scandals they cover over for their guests! xx

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    4. Gist got. :) The problem is that my affirmative is not always correctly aligned—yet.

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    5. Hi Dotti - yep - will connect next time. This time hubby wanted a "just-us-three" type holiday - because it has been a very busy year - so I decided to give him just that! Will definitely connect next time! :)

      And Peter - Glad the gist is got. And yes, I have a probem too in the sphere of aligning my prayers. Will take a lifetime I reckon to be exactly aligned! :)

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  6. Lovely post, Dorothy, lovely to hear you were spoilt for a week in Malaysia. A break does us all good. God doesn't always answer my prayers either, but what I've learned is that he wants me to be faithful to him as he is to me. My words usually don't flow when away from him, so this prayer is cetainly what I need to get the year started. Thanks for the gift of your time to bring us this prayer. Blessings, Laura

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    1. You're welcome Laura. I know you'll be blessed with this prayer!

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  7. Thank you so much, Dorothy. That prayer really connected with my heartfelt dreams, wishes, and desires to please the Lord in all my writing. I'll place a copy of it next to my computer!

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  8. I loved that poem, Dorothy. I was only complaining yesterday that I want a secretary. I am very impressed with your butler - even if it was only for the time you were away.

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    1. Hi Rose, wouldn't a staff of 'anyone' be great? Secretary, butler, housekeeper...! I'm glad you liked the prayer. Blessings :)

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  9. I can relate to this. The other day at work, all my collegues had taken Friday off so they could have a 4-day weekend for Australia day. I had the entire IT department to myself. No interruptions. I had my most productive day ever. If only my writing life could be like that.

    Great prayer though. I like it a lot.

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