Quote 5

“The world can’t give us that serenity,” he said. “The world can’t give us peace. We can only find it in our heart.”
   “I hate that,” I said.
   “I know. But the good news is that by the same token, the world can’t take it away.”

In this quotation, Lamott recalls a meaningful conversation with her pastor. She is referring to how being published and praised for her last book left her craving validation from the world in an unhealthy way. This is the most obvious instance of Lamott finding support from her church. For her, church provides a sanctuary away from the perils of everyday life, including publishing. She sees writing as a spiritual activity that can often bring one closer to God, and she notes that publishing actually moves her away from peace of mind.

Her pastor reaffirms the point that Lamott must find serenity within herself. Many of the writer’s strengths and resources will come from an internal place rather than an external one. She conquers jealousy, for example, by turning to her creativity. She even conquers some of the critical voices in her head by simply focusing on silencing them. And, in the section on writer’s block, she advocates continuing to write as the mind and unconscious wait to become filled with material again. Though she finds support from her church, Lamott advocates a kind of creative self-sufficiency, where good writing can come from patience with oneself and faith in one’s mind. The writer must frequently look within and trust what he finds there. As with peace of mind, good writing must come from experience and self-discovery