“Faith is always an adventure.”
“Faith is the centerpiece of a connected life. It allows us to live by the grace of invisible strands. It is a belief in a wisdom superior to our own. Faith becomes a teacher in the absence of fact.”
Terry Tempest Williams
Faith: it’s an uncharted territory when it comes to our writing. But consider for a moment some of the many ways it’s defined in my trusty Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: 1) allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty; 2) fidelity to one’s promises; 3) sincerity of intentions; 4) firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
Pondering these many meanings of faith, I’m struck by how important it is for us to have faith in our work and the sincerity of our intentions in pursuing that work. Every day, as we turn to the page, we encounter obstacles, internal and external, that can make us question the value of what we write and our faith in our ability to say what we want to say.
We may find that our mind is sluggish, our energy is low, and that our spirits are flagging — any or all of these can shake our faith in our ability to go on. we may find ourselves coping with rejection or confusing feedback that seems to muddy the waters instead of giving us clarity. Or like me, some of us may be struggling with a rough revision that seems to be falling apart instead of coming together.
Any one of these obstacles can test our faith in what we’re trying to accomplish on the page. And if a few of them hit us all at once — well, that can be really tough. And since there’s no solid assurance — no proof — that any of our efforts will actually bear fruit, what is there to fall back on? What can we really rely on?
Here’s the answer I’ve come up with: Faith in our ability to be faithful to our work. What does being faithful mean? It means being Loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute.
So the next time we hit a road bump — and there’s surely one ahead — let’s hold fast to the sincere intentions we set for ourselves when we first started whatever project we’re working on. Let’s be faithful to those intentions and write on.