Mar 30, 2011

The Writing Life

I recently began watching a DVD titled A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O'Donohue. His message about the landscape and what it meant to him growing up is inspiring, but I was surprised--and delighted--to hear him talk about writing.

"I'm a writer. And writing is a wonderful adventure. But it's also an extremely solitary and difficult task. Some days the lines come easily, but most days it's a struggle. In the world of the mind you work and work and work and work and yet you see so little return for your work. Because it's invisible work." ~John O'Donohue

He goes on to say that while you might work on something all week and not see progress and be tempted to say that you wasted a week, later the words come and that's because what seemed like an unproductive week really was laying the groundwork. He says God works like that. We are tempted to see winter as completely dead and spring as alive.

 But something is going on in the winter--preparation that enables spring to bring new life in nature. So it is with the words God has planted in our hearts to write. We have to get through the winter of writing, the time that seems unproductive but is really a time when ideas take root.

These writing winters are hard to endure, but there is always the hope of spring. It's coming.  I have to do the work of the mind during my writing winter--pondering, planning, dreaming, sketching out ideas. Spring is the time that the invisible work becomes visible. I'm awaiting spring with great anticipation.


  1. I have to get my hands on this DVD. :)

  2. Wonderful post, Cindy! Well said.

  3. Just one more reason I'm ready for spring :)

  4. Great post. "Waiting" is a theme for me lately. Even today my Purpose Driven Life daily word I get via email was about the importance of waiting. We always need that reminder!