Writing is a Sacred tradition in many cultures. We revere the books that come from these cultures. It’s also a very sacrificial act, one that takes a lot of courage, honesty, and time. I’d like to talk about writing during Lent.
Traditionally, Lent gives some 46 days to prepare for Easter, a time of preparation for Christians for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross (and the subsequent cool resurrection part). The idea was that you were not just shocked, surprised, pleased, and quickly through Easter, but that you could think –over 46 days– about the impact this one act of self-sacrifice did for your faith. It’s mirrored in some ways by Advent.
But whereas Advent is about preparing for joy–a baby, a baby! Lent is about preparing for death and transition.
Christians often give up something for Lent–so that whenever they crave it, they will think of what Christ gave up for them. Chocolate and Life are not comparable; however, the idea is to be aware of the season through this sacrifice. Call it the best mindfulness exercise the Christians have come up with yet.
That said, whether you are Christian or not, we can take the Lenten Season to think about Faith, and perhaps, write about it. Or at least ask ourselves to write with more courage, more honesty, and more faith than we have in the past.
Writers are plagued with insecurity and negative thoughts. Let’s put those on the altar of Lent and say, hey, no more of these. We are afraid sometimes of writing our Truth and giving it to others. And we often have a lack of faith in our own abilities and ideas.
Lent leads us up to celebrating Life from Death. I don’t want to co-opt Jesus’s very big moment, but he too had a very big mission, and it got harder and harder to be honest, to be courageous and to follow through on what his mission was.
What I want to do is to ask writers to write for 46 days– science fiction, fantasy, memoir, essay, poetry–and write with more courage, more honesty and more faith than you ever have before. I also challenge you to write a little about faith.
It’s important for us as writers to believe in ourselves and our writing, to give up negative thoughts and insecurities, preparing our hearts to more honestly talk about Life. There is a lot of struggling that goes on in writing if we are to be honest–and struggling with being honest–and so, for 46 days, let the honesty flow. Be yourself. Be creative. Be courageous. Be honest. GIVE UP negative thoughts that question YOUR mission, and Create and GIVE something honest and courageous to the world.