I have decided that I prefer the state of having written rather than the actual practice of writing. This may seem strange since I have a blog but stick with me.
When I am at adoration, my prime space for letting the holy spirit take over my pen and paper, I do enjoy the experience. It is a time of conversation with God, feeling his presence, listening to his voice. Sometimes it is Mary who engages with me and the words just flow onto the page.
I do not, however, experience the same inner peace when I transfer the words from pen/paper onto the computer screen. Nor is the same feeling present while I compose academic writing.
This holiday season, outside the traditional Masses and family gatherings, I dedicated myself to working to produce a research manuscript. I've had pages upon pages of collected data staring at me for 6 months, just taunting me to sit down and get the job done. I kept putting it off and much more fulfilling tasks took precedence all through the fall but I determined this was the time to make it happen.
Honestly, the entire 10 days felt like a slugfest. I worked at the keyboard for multiple-hour stretches each day, analyzing, writing, editing, reanalyzing, rewriting, re-editing, over and over word-smithing every sentence to ensure it said exactly what I wanted it to say, with my intended tone, and ensuring enmity for the people in my study. At the end of the second week, I finally had to decide that was enough and shared it with a colleague for feedback.
I have to admit, though, it was quite satisfying to utter the words, "It's done." Along with that gratification came the understanding that I much prefer to write with the Holy Spirit and also prefer having written to the actual process of writing.
I recall the first time I hit the post button on this blog. I briefly paused and considered if I was ready to share my co-writing with whoever visited my site. My thoughts swam with hesitation, "What if people don't like what they read?" "Am I ready for scrutiny and negative feedback?" Thankfully, the Holy Spirit continues to work and, so far, the haters have kept their comments to themselves.
With any luck, He will speak to the researchers reading my manuscript in the coming months. Please, pray for me to be able to peacefully accept any negative responses and persevere to get it published.