Meet Karrie Zylstra Myton, contributor in the July/August 2015 issue, “Happiness.” Her article “Cracks of Light” appears on page 19. To get a copy of this issue or to order a subscription to Alive Now, call 1.800.972.0433 or order online.
At the center of my writing routine, I have a notebook, a timer and, most importantly, prayer.
My notebook is wide rule, and I prefer color on the cover. In it, I journal my plans for the day, cluster my next piece of writing and take notes to myself. It works best for me to keep one book where I can find everything I’m working on at once.
A timer keeps me focused on tasks from my first morning meditation to the time I work on my novel. I often set it for ten minutes and find myself working long after that. After I’ve written, I time my rewards of checking email and surfing social media.
Finally, prayer grounds my routine and gives me the inspiration and strength I need for writing which is not always an easy task. I begin with meditation. After making a cup of tea and greeting my husband in the morning, I set my timer for five minutes and breathe through at least one count of ten before starting a meditative prayer I learned from the pages of Alive Now.
I pray that I know peace, love, and the Divine. Then I work my way through the same prayer for someone I love dearly, someone I love but am having troubles with and, finally, for someone I am having great struggles with in my life and I find difficult to love in any recognizable way. After those first five minutes, I’ll offer a writer’s prayer I adapted from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way:
Oh, Divine One
Who is and was
And will be.
I come to my art
In service to you
And to my sisters
And to my brothers.
Help me to know that I am never alone
That I am loved and lovable
Help me to create as an act of worship to you.
This practice clears my soul for the writing I wish to do and brings peace to the rest of my day long after I finish my time with words on the page.
Karrie Zylstra Myton lives in Puyallup, WA where she serves as a Disciple leader at Puyallup FUMC. She teaches at Bates Technical College. An ESL instructor by training, she currently works in the Practical Nurse program, helping students achieve their dreams. Karrie is married with two sons, ages 15 and 4.