Letting an Empty Place Open Up
In between periods of actually writing down words on the white page before me, my eyes almost always glance off to the left toward the floor, but it is not the floor that I am seeing. I am not really seeing anything or doing anything in the usual sense of the term. I am simply being, but being in what is for me an unusually intense and unfocused manner. I am not searching for the right way to phrase something, or for the next words to have a character speak, or for how to make a graceful transition from one paragraph to another. As nearly as I understand the process, I am simply letting an empty place open up inside myself and waiting for something to fill it. And every once and so often, praise God, something does. The sign that reads WELCOME HONE. The character who speaks something closer to the truth than I can imagine having ever come to on my own. A sentence or two in a sermon, perhaps, that touch me as usually only something I haven't seen coming can touch me or that feed me as if from another's hand with something that I hadn't realized I was half starving for. I think it is not fanciful to say that among the places I have searched for home without realizing what I was doing is that empty and fathomless place within myself and that sometimes, from afar, I may even have caught a glimpse of it in the shadows there.
- from Secrets in the Dark