Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


Writing . . . Inspired or Not

There’s something that feels sacred in putting words down in the right moments. Something about a pencil and a piece of paper, a typewriter with a fresh ribbon, a computer with a blank screen and all the bells and whistles turned off–this calls to me. I used to listen to the call. As a child, my mom regularly evicted me from my spot at the kitchen table where I would have happily sat for hours writing stories, rhymes, little snippets and observations of what seemed and what wasn’t real. She would send me outside, afraid that my desire to sit with paper and my imagination would leave me friendless or socially awkward or some other fate worse than what she hoped for me. But lately, the sensation that I need to put some words down comes at inconvenient times. And I know, when the moment strikes, that if I just stop everything and take a moment and jot down those little pulls and those tugs of feeling-becoming-words that I’ll have something. Something real, true, needing to be said, inspired. But if I don’t stop–and so often I don’t–the sensation soon passes. It will return, but not as soon as it once did, not with the same frequency or urgency. So the goal is to listen more. To tune my sense to those moments. And, yes, sometimes to write when I don’t feel the weight of inspiration on me. To write even when it means tugging each word out from deep inside and sometimes hating the way the words fit together or the dissonant rhythms that testify to my lack of creative impulse in the moment. And then–then it’s a chore. But when I listen: Oh, the relief of writing inspired! Writing when I’m willing to set aside my priorities and my to-do list and all the things I want to do instead so often leads to pure joy, pleasure, and something that makes me smile when it’s finished. So I write.


Every Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker provides a prompt for “Five-Minute Friday“: Write for five minutes only–no editing, no rewriting. This week’s prompt is “Write.”

Five Minute Friday