A small, weak commitment to a goal helps me overcome the drudgery of what I hate in order to hold what I love. This morning I laid in bed for half an hour, trying to convince myself not to write. In front of me towered this ugly piece of prose, a scene that I couldn’t imagine fixing. Part of my fear in writing this morning was that I’m trying to be more honest with who I am. Exposing such a closeness in fiction breeds vulnerability and fear. So some mornings it is as if I am getting up and going before a grand jury of Catholic Cardinals and confessing before them all my sins and failures, so help me God. Admitting this to yourself is half the battle. Then to put it on paper, where the world might one day realize how messed up I really am is unthinkable.

“just 500 words,” I told myself this morning. “Tell 500 words, then it will all be over.”

It’s over. My 500 words are done. It took me 1.5 hours to write 500 words. Today was not my best writing day. But these writing days often turn up golden nuggets. It’s that impossible fight to search for the center piece, the theme of your scene, the pulse of the moment, the heart of darkness that wants to huddle in the shadows.

It’s not bravery or courage or intense resolve that helps me write. It’s weakness and a hopeless trusting that if confess what I fear the most, that my broken heart will be knit with the broken heart of another, so that we can face the monsters in this world together, hand in hand, knowing that we are not alone.

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