Hand at the chest

Image from Crossway.org

Today’s a wonderful Wednesday because in the process of reviewing Words for Readers and Writers: Spirit-Pooled Dialogues by Larry Woiwode, I found this quotation about deadlines that I’ve been searching for:

Do you worry about the ethics of all-nighters?—when you have to hand in a story by a certain date and hour, a deadline? Let me affirm that all writing is against a deadline, whether for a class or the staff of life on your table, or a publication that pays enough to scare you witless, or the end of life. All-nighters are not uncommon to the one who knelt on rock at Gethsemane. You can be sure the Spirit who causes cattle to calve will squeeze from your mind the pooling metaphor of acceptable words to fulfill an assignment or commission in an acceptable time.

Are you blocked?—feel you can’t write another word? That means you’ve reached an ethical junction you aren’t ready to face, or haven’t yet resolved, and you’re being held from it, because you’re not ready to take it on—the sensation of the hand at your chest keeping you from the page you want to fill, from a statement that may, ultimately, be irretrievable or rash or destructive (pp. 179-180).

Woiwode urges the reader to “live in trust, which is faith, faith itself the exercise of love—the giving of yourself to another in entire trust. Spend yourself prodigiously in your prose” (p. 180).

Since I’m trying to complete a devotional manuscript I’d hoped to finish by the first of last March, been intending to submit a book proposal for six months, and have two novels simmering on the back burners of my mind’s stove, these words bring comfort and lead me to trust.


2 thoughts on “Hand at the chest

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