“Dear God, let me be a good writer, and an honest man.”
I heard this quote on a late night radio show. I forget who was being interviewed, but he mentioned that he had been a long time friend of James Baldwin. Back in the day when correspondence was done through paper and postage stamps, the two men would write each other frequently, and they would always sign their letters with this prayer.
I heard it at a time in my life when I thought I would be a fiction writer. I still had a lot residual themes from college bouncing around in my head, one of them being the idea that art isartiface; that a writer’s work is inherently false.
Ruminating on this one line helped me break away from that idea and helped me open up to a more personal style of writing; one through which I could let go of the more academic elements of literature and simply try to articulate the thoughts and feelings that life exposed in me.
I hope you enjoy it.
Now, as I open my notebook to the next terrifying blank page, may God help me be a good writer, and an honest man.