“Habit is habit, and not to be thrown out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” ~ Mark Twain
While this is true of the bad habits, thankfully, it’s also true of the good ones. Good habits can become guideposts for daily decision making. They can keep your teeth from rotting out because you forgot to brush them or keep you from getting run over because you didn’t look both ways before crossing the street.
In the world of writing, there is no shortage of eccentric habits of highly successful authors from which to choose. Demosthenes, a Greek orator, was known to shave off half his head while writing in order to discourage himself from going out in public until he was finished—or I guess until his hair grew back. The German poet, Friedrich Schiller, required the smell of rotten apples in order to write. He supposedly kept a drawer full of them in his desk.
Webster’s Dictionary defines habit as a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance; an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.
How awesome would it be if that habit was prayer? How awesome would it be if we invited God into our day and sought His guidance for our work through the powerful channel of communication called prayer every day, without fail?
Listening to music, taking a walk, drinking coffee—all these may help put you in the frame of mind to work or trigger your creativity, but they cannot unleash the power that a daily conversation with God can.
The following is a prayer I found several years ago. I don’t know who wrote it (although I’m pretty sure I know who the Original Author is). Take it and rewrite it to make it your own so that it brings meaning and direction to the work God has called you to. Commit to the habit of saying prayer over your work each day before you start.
The Writer’s Daily Prayer
With all my heart, I thank you for the opportunity to write for You, Lord. Please grant me the talent to do it with clarity and fresh style that my words will stretch deep into my readers’ souls and make a difference for eternity.
Reach into my heart, Lord, and grant me sensitivity to understand my characters’, their soul’s deep core, their wants and needs and dreams. May my sensitivity make my characters come to life for my readers and, in turn, touch a chord of emotion that will draw them into the story.
I long to write from my heart, Lord, so that I may communicate Your love and goodness to my readers. Fuel my imagination with vivid ideas and vital insights that my words will flow and I will have no doubt that You are working through me.
Teach me how to trust You in those moments when the creative juices slow and my mind grows weary. It is for You I write, so please awaken and energize my senses with fresh insights so that my readers will go in search of Your truth in the midst of my fiction.
Empower me with Your Holy Spirit, God, that I may persevere in discouragement, trust in times of fear, hope in the midst of despair, believe when the doubt settles in, and rely solely on You for my strength and inspiration. In the name of Your Son Jesus, I pray. Amen.