To write or not to write? That is the question. As writers we are often given the advice to spend some time writing each day even if it is only for a brief period of time. For many of us this involves a lot of discipline. By nature we tend to let our moods and attitudes dictate when we will sit down and put our thoughts on paper.
Personally, I struggled with the inclination to wait until it ‘feels right’. Am I free from either physical or mental distractions? Do I ‘feel’ inspired to write? Is it imperative that I meet an impending deadline? Do I write because I sense a pressing need and longing to do so?
In earlier times I failed to discipline myself because I still did not have the confidence to believe that my writing was worth the effort. I wonder what I have missed because of that attitude. I wonder what my potential readers have missed because of it. Possibly I have failed to write that masterpiece because of my lack of confidence.
I have found through practice, I can ‘get into the zone’ more readily. It requires consistent, unswerving commitment to honing my craft. This is where that illusive discipline comes into play. At times I sit down to write because my thoughts will not let go of a particular idea and writing it down will put it all into perspective. During the last two years, throughout the covid crisis, I have developed more discipline and have spent almost everyday writing something. The results have been amazing as I’ve seen some of my work accepted for publication.
These attitudes towards writing can parallel our mind-set towards the time we spend with the Lord. Daily, consistent prayer time has become a discipline that I must faithfully pursue. It does not always come naturally to me to seize those day-by-day moments.
Many attitudes may determine the time I spend in prayer. Am I free from physical and mental distractions? Do I ‘feel’ like it? Do my circumstances compel me to pray? Do I sense a pressing need and longing to spend time with the Lord?
God invites us to spend time with him. In Hebrews 4:16 he encourages us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” He wants us to come as we are and not wait until we are “in the zone.”
At times I wonder what blessings I may have missed because of my lack of discipline. What longings have gone unanswered? I wonder what blessing others have missed because I have not been faithful to spend time with the one who invites me to come habitually into his presence?
When I consistently commit myself to spending time with the Lord, prayer becomes second nature to me and it results in a beautiful, regular and satisfying relationship with God. The rewards are unmistakable and well worth the effort. Let us all dedicate ourselves to improving our resolve to both write and pray consistently. I love the saying I heard at a writers conference once, “learn to write on your knees”. The two go hand in hand.
Ruth is a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She lives in Warman, SK. She enjoys writing, reading, jigsaw puzzles and embroidery.