Saturday, November 5, 2011

Writer's Block and Listening to God

I almost titled this blog post "NaNoWriMo for Catholics." NaNoWriMo, if you don't know, is National Novel Writing Month. It happens each November. Writers and wannabe writers attempt to pound out 50,000 word novels-- or rather, first drafts of novels. Or more commonly 30,000 word first drafts because most of it turns out to be muck. But I digress.

I didn't title the post "NaNoWriMo for Catholics" because it's more about Catholic writers in general and I only happen to be writing this post during NaNo.  In fact I'm writing about writer's block, a big no-no in NaNo. In NaNo, there's no time for blockage. You keep writing even when you're stuck. Helpful (or stupid) writing prompts abound to keep you writing. You can find some here. (That's a link to my other blog).
15th Century Scribe. Did they have NaNoWriMo back then?
But do you suppose writer's block is an opportunity to listen to God? As Catholics we know that prayer is both speaking to God and listening. There are different types of prayer. We talk to Him when we petition, praise, and thank Him. He speaks to us in Scripture and in our hearts. Sitting before the Blessed Sacrament works wonders and I mean, just sitting (or kneeling), without expectations and allowing God access to your heart. I liken it to lying beside your spouse in the wee quiet hours just being close. Or with your newborn baby right after they nursed and you're just blissfully holding them.

"What does writer's block have to do with any of this?" you ask.

In the stillness, maybe we can ask God what He wants for our writing. And in the stillness, we'll hear Him.

Or read Scripture and become inspired in your writing. Nissa, at The Lina Lamont Fan Club is doing that in her NaNo novel. You should pop over there and read what Nissa's up to.


  1. thank you for this post. I have not written anything on my novel for about a month due to so my sister's wedding and 2. I got stuck on what to do next on my novel; I have written about 42k words and I will get back to it whether or not it ever gets published at least attempted to write a finish manuscript.

  2. Yay, I'm so glad I could give you the little push. :) It feels good to finish a manuscript.
    On my other blog I posted 42 random writer's block cures in case you get stuck again. Most of them are dumb, but they might work. :)

  3. thank you! I have always known the ending of my novel it's a matter of "how do I get there," and I tell you that it has been an amazing ride because I can do whatever witht the characters I have drawn, but I am a at a point where I need to find a bold path to get there.


  4. Oh, then you might find the Dan Wells 7 point story structure videos helpful. You can do a youtube search or I have a link on one of my posts:
    This made a huge lightbulb go on over my head. I wish I'd seen it before I wrote my first novel, which had major plot issues.