Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Writer’s Prayer

I know y’all are going to be tacking this up on your refrigerators immediately after reading it.

(I don't want to alienate anyone not of the Judeo-Christian heritage, so feel free replace each reference below to “Lord” or “God” with the Higher Power of your choice. If you’re an atheist, just substitute O Great and Powerful Randomness. It still works.)

A Writer’s Prayer

God grant me the serenity to sit my twitchy rear-end
down in that chair once again
and make that cursor move
across the computer screen,
even if the only way I can do so
is to repeatedly apply my forehead
to the keyboard like a chicken
pecking the ground for meal worms. 

Lord, please help me to accept the things
that cannot be changed,
like the fact that the entire premise of my next book --
the one I'm super excited about –
causes most people to either shrug with indifference
or say, “Ooooh-kaaay. Sounds, you know, interesting.
Good luck with that.”

Give me the courage to change those things
that should be changed,
even though I have damn well changed them enough,
and I don’t want to change them again.
No, I don’t.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.
La-La-La-La-La…I’m not listening.
I’m not listening to that little voice of doom in my head
(and my gut better shut up too if it knows what’s good for it).

Help me to see the difference between something
that’s actually funny and
 lame jokes predicated on esoteric references
to “BJ and The Bear.”

And when I am in the darkest hour of Querying,
walk with me, Lord, and be my rock and my shield.
Also, this would be one of those times
when I could use some serious smiting of my enemies.
May I suggest one of those plague things You do so well?
Or a flood.
 Whatever You’re in the mood for. Feel free to improvise,
 but be sure to make it extra, you know, vengeful,
since vengeance is exclusively Your thing
and not for me to indulge in
 no matter how much I might really, really want to.

Lord, grant me some more of that serenity
so that I might not freak out at my agent
 when she tells me that I need to revise
based on feedback.
Because You of all people realize
that even if that poor woman were getting
an 85% commission on the sale of my work,
it wouldn’t be enough to compensate her
 for having to listen to all my whining.

And lo, though I may walk
through the valley of the shadow of rejection --
which incidentally is a long-ass
and extremely shadowy valley
and not to complain but, geez, WTF?
How about the occasional peak now and again
just to break up the scenery a bit
(just something to think about
-- even You aren’t immune to suggestions for improvement) –
Yes, O Lord, be at my side during these desolate hours
and try not to take it personally when I lash out
at You, the world in general, and all those
who don’t “get me.”

And finally, Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand 
why it is that I do this writing thing,
 because there must be a damn good reason
or else I wouldn’t keep sitting here,
 day after day,
watching that little cursor winking at me
 like it’s in on some big cosmic joke
that I don’t know about.
 Because it’s not all one big joke, right?


Anybody there?