The Writing Life

PETRIE-KIT-103My primary sabbatical goal was to get a good start on writing a novel.  Actually, I had foolishly hoped to write an entire novel, but that was before I realized what a different beast writing fiction is. Some novelists take years to write one novel, and I can see why.

I understood I had to approach the work “bird by bird,” or chunk by chunk.  What I did not foresee was how physically exhausting writing fiction is.  After, say, spending a few hours writing a scene, I would save my work, stand up, and stagger to the couch where I promptly fell asleep for ten minutes.  After talking about writing in my sermon last Sunday, a man who writes for a living came up to me afterwards and we traded war stories.  He confirmed how tiring scene-writing is, and compared his job to taking the SATs everyday.

We also talked about the solitary nature of writing.  I enjoyed writing fiction – especially the moments when the writing flowed, and I was completely absorbed in it.  Especially when I surmounted a challenging stretch, and found my way out of feeling stuck.  Writing ignites my soul and makes me feel alive!

Could I write solely for a living?  Hell’s NO!  I wondered about that, at the outset of sabbatical, and it was a glorious affirmation to discover how much more I love the life of MINISTRY – how everyday is different, but especially how much I get to interact with people, face to face, everyday.

Engaging the imagination is exciting, but it’s fraught with loneliness.  I love my job, and can’t imagine a finer place to work, a finer church to serve than Neighborhood UU Church.  Thanks everyone, for welcoming me back, because I sure am glad to BE back.

Rev. Hannah Petrie

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One Response to The Writing Life

  1. Joan Ellison says:

    body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}welcome back. Kudos for all your efforts!

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