A Writer’s Prayer

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by Larry Brooks on July 27, 2010

Welcome to the half of you who weren’t scared away by the word “prayer.”

Not the usual Storyfix fare, I’ll grant you.  But I bet you’ve uttered a quiet prayer or two – even if that’s not the label you put on it – where your writing dream is concerned.  I know I have.

Like, every morning. 

And then, one day you realized that the better prayer is to circle the issue and ask for higher understanding and a little grace. 

Maybe then the writing thing will happen.

Ever cleaned out a drawer and found something you wrote, say, ten years ago?  Something you forgot you’d even written?

Ever wanted to see one of your poems published?  Even though, deep in your gut, you know you suck?

One way to skin that cat: publish it yourself.

And call it a prayer instead of a poem.  Because a heartfelt prayer never sucks.

###

Lord grant me the hope to unwrap this day as the precious gift that it is.

To embrace it with the wide-eyed wonder of a child.

As if it were my last.

 

Lord give me the wisdom to give this day to others.

To add a moment of warmth or some twist of loving fate.

And not need to be right, or the object of gratitude.

Or even be there when they smile.

 

Lord deliver strength to accept what is.

If today should be my time to bear the load,

Help me find a way to see burden as grace.

To make a lesson and therefore a blessing out of pain.

 

Lord grant me the will to walk with purpose.

And sway with neither storms nor winds of change.

To choose a path with mind wide open,

To make the most of every page.

 

Lord give me the peace that comes with knowing

That despite my frail anonymity you are here.

That if my heart can surrender and remain open,

Then today will hold no limits,

And no fear.

                                                L. Brooks 1999

Written under a flashlight on a dark and stormy night in a pup tent somewhere in the Northern California wilderness.

By myself. 

Scared shitless.

Then the really scary part started.

I came home and decided to write fiction for a living.

Prayer answered?  Still wondering.

Now here I am, writing about fiction.

The Lord moves in mysterious ways, they say.

At least now I’ve published a poem.  Such as it is.

{ 32 comments }

Geoffrey Philp July 28, 2010 at 1:43 am

Remarkable poem/ prayer, Larry

Kathy Golitko White July 28, 2010 at 5:33 am

You always have thoughtful and interesting things to say. Today’s post is the most universal one I’ve seen. I bet there are many of us who will copy that prayer and post it on our walls. I am. Thanks

Mike Wright July 28, 2010 at 5:46 am

Perfect!
Amen.

Frank Morin July 28, 2010 at 5:59 am

Thanks, Larry. Great way to start the day.

Dawn Peterson July 28, 2010 at 7:12 am

I think of you every morning, reading your newsletter while drinking that first cup of coffee. I savor both.
You are my morning buddy. But today’s post reached into my heart and squeezed tight. Larry, Thank-you. I am so blessed to have you and your amazing insights in my life.

Jacob Nordby July 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

this is GREAT, Larry. Thank you.

I shared it on a couple of Facebook writers’ group pages and even tried to Digg it. Digg said the link was not valid but hell with them. Oops. I just cussed in a comment attached to your post on praying. sorry about that ;-)

Cher Green July 28, 2010 at 8:02 am

Great prayer, and proof that they are answered, even when it’s not the way you expect.

Lois Hudson July 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

I appreciate the broad scope of your writing and your willingness to share across the board. Thank you.
Just received WHISPER OF THE SEVENTH THUNDER, and looking forward to reading it.

Martha Miller July 28, 2010 at 8:30 am

Sharing this very personal story and poem with all your faceless, anonymous subscribers took some gutz, Larry. Good for you for being so brave and honest. There comes a time in all our writing lives (the time happens to be now for me) when we need help from the Great Creative Energy that guides us. The help is always there, waiting. All we have to do is ask for it. Your poem is a beautiful way of acknowledging and asking.

Larry July 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

@Jacob — thanks for the nice comments, and the support. As for swearing… I think I said I was “scared shitless” in my own post, so we’re both goin’ to hell. :-)

But not until we write something amazing.

Thanks to everyone for your warm response. L.

gwen morrison July 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

Love this! Thanks for sharing..

Realmling July 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

Thank you for this Larry.

I’ve been reading everything I can on this site, trying to wrap my brain around it all and apply it and find out if I want to move beyond just plunking out an idea when it comes into my head. Kinda funny really, I can spend days/weeks world building for some wild idea but I’ve never gone beyond a very limited (and unhelpful now I’ve found) outline. If I even plan/outline at all.

Not sure if I’ll ever be the type to outline every little detail for the entirety of a writing project, but I’m actually having a blast this latest go around going through and analyzing what pops into my head to see where it fits in the 4-part setup and all the various questions that need to be answered in each one. Amazingly enough, it’s like being behind the wheel this time, instead of sitting in the passenger seat while the idea goes rampaging through the streets.

So, thanks again … from a slightly reformed pantser. ;)

Deanna Schrayer July 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

Kathy said exactly what I was thinking – I’m going to print this out and hang it above my desk, read it every morning before typing one word.

Thanks so much for having the courage to share these very personal thoughts Larry. As lovely as the poem is, I know it took a lot of bravery to post it.

P.S. If you ever see a poem on either of my blog sites I must be in some sort of “ah, the hell with it” mood. :)

Trish July 28, 2010 at 11:30 am

Awesome and inspriring, Larry. Thanks for sharing.

KC July 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Loved the poem/prayer, Larry. It was just beautiful. Not crap.

Martha Ramirez July 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Beautiful prayer!

Deb Dorchak July 28, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Thanks, Larry. I needed this today.

Kelly July 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hello, Larry. Kelly here.
Remarkable timing you have on this post.
This prayer/poem is a testament to the undertaking of major life change, which should scare anyone– in their right mind– shitless. :)
You have a unique way of expressing it.
Glad you’re a published poet now, Larry. Thanks for sharing your debut with us.
Regards, Kelly

David C July 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

A really good prayer, thank you for sharing.
David C

Shane Arthur July 29, 2010 at 9:19 am

Lord,

Give me Larry Brooks’ writing brain.
That is all Lord.
Amen

Steve Aguilu July 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

A moving tribute to the greatest battle within us…that of fear and faith. Thank you Larry.

I have something on my wall that I wrote in the early days of this year as I contemplated the metamorphosis from physician to writer. I look at it before each of my writing sessions:

Someday it will happen
And to make it happen, I will write a book
And if it doesn’t happen, I will write another book
And if it still doesn’t happen, Iwill write another book
And someday, even if it doesn’t happen, I will have written a lot of books and something will have happened within me

Take care, good man. Only one thing better than a writer… a writer with a soul.

Steve

cw July 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Larry,
I loved it, every word of it. Thanks for sharing.

CareerOutlook August 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

Thanks for sharing the amazing peopm with us. This page is bookmarked :)

Michelle Sieger August 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

I am so appreciative of your inclusion of this prayer on your site! I do plan on following your posts from now on and am subscribing to your blog. The realization that we need divine inspiration and enabling to make it through each day – no matter What we do – is very precious to me.
Michelle

Melanie S August 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

I loved this post, came across it through reading your post on ProBlogger. God obviously answers your prayers as your writing is very inspiring!

Sj August 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I love the prayer, very inspiring. Your site is great.

quilly August 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

This is an excellent prayer and would translate well to whomever lifted it up, regardless of his/her dream.

Anne Galivan August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I loved this! Tremendous insight. You don’t say how old you were…

This resonated with me. Thanks for sharing it!

Pamela McBride August 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

Love it!

Jessica August 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm

My favorite post so far… Your ode to dangling body parts, close second.

Lorna August 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm

…awesome prayer…already put it on my wall! THX…I needed that reminder today!

LJB August 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Larry, as usual you hit a home run and touch the heart. You remain one of our most ‘real’ and inspirational guides out in writer-cyber-world.

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