The post, continued from yesterday, is adapted from a commencement address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing graduation ceremony in Santa Fe, NM on August 9, 2014.
5: Make your writing a prayer.
This point may sound overly pious but I don’t mean it in a pietistic way.
I’m not suggesting that you imitate Augustine, who wrote the entirety of the Confessions as a single, continuous prayer. But what he did in that book offers us some clues about how to be better writers.
Every prayer, even the short ones we blurt out in times of need, is language that is shaped to some extent: consecrated speech. In prayer we search for words to express our need, seek help, and give thanks. The very act of prayer is thus a search, a journey.
Augustine peppers his Confessions with questions, and I can’t think of a more spiritual form of devotion than questions that are posed with passion and genuine openness to the unknown, the unexpected sources of grace.
What if everything you wrote was a prayer to God and a prayer for communion with your reader?