Aleteia

Prayer for overcoming writer’s block

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When you need some extra help, call on St. Francis de Sales.

Anyone who has to write — academically, personally, or professionally — at some point experiences writer’s block. It could be a 10-page thesis or an important email, but suddenly, the brain shuts down and we can’t think of what to say next.

The good news is that Jesus is the Word of God, and He is more than capable of inspiring us with the words we need.

One saint who understands writer’s block is St. Francis de Sales, a prolific writer of the 17th century who wrote a profound prayer at the beginning of his Introduction to the Devout Life.

In it, he dedicates his writing to God, offering it up to him and praying for the people who will read it. This is something we can all do, even if it’s a simple email we are trying to send.

The key to overcoming writer’s block is to see everything we do as a gift to God.

Below is the prayer composed by St. Francis de Sales.

Ah, sweet Jesus, my Lord, my Savior, and my God, behold me here prostrate before your Majesty as I pledge and consecrate this writing to your glory. By your blessing give life to its words so that the souls for whom it has been written may receive from it the sacred inspirations I desire for them, in particular that of imploring your infinite mercy in my behalf to the end that while I point out to others the way of devotion in this world I myself may not be rejected and eternally condemned in the other, but that with them I may forever sing as a canticle of triumph words that with my whole heart I utter in witness of fidelity amid the hazards of this mortal life:

Live, Jesus! Live, Jesus!

Yes, Lord Jesus, live and reign in our hearts forever and ever. Amen.