The Writing Workshopper’s Prayer

Dear Lord, open my ears to the voices of others. Give me the patience to listen to the interpretations and suggestions of those less fortunate than I. Help me learn to not defend or apologize for my writing. Should my fellow workshoppers tell me my story is not realistic, restrain me from punching them in the nose, for You are my witness. 

Should a fellow workshopper criticize my narrator’s sexual persuasion while I listen in silence, help me understand that this attack is just an  expression of resistance to looking deeply at texts.

Dear Lord, release me from the urge to send out a story for publication before the workshop. Free me from the expectation that my leader and fellow workshoppers will say, Your work is so good, you should send it to The New York Times. For they too are frail, Lord, and have never  published in The New York Times.

Comfort me with your mercy, Lord, and may my fellow workshoppers develop their own merciful sides in Your image. Let them subdue their judgments as You have learned to subdue yours.

Dear Lord, allow me to finish my first year in workshop with a sense of mission and inspiration. Distance me from feelings of devastation and the desire to never write again.

Help me fulfill the famous words: A writer is someone who writes. Engrave them on the doorposts of my home and especially above the television set.

Dear Lord, when I respond to the writings of others, teach me to be positive and kind, even if they have trashed my text. Send blessings on all our words. Bestow upon our workshop abundant kindness and let us dwell in the house of the workshop forever. Amen.

About the Author
Judy Labensohn is a writer and teacher of creative writing in Israel. She leads the Writing Gym on Sunday mornings at Tmol Shilshom in downtown Jerusalem.