Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shoot for the Stars

I often start writing projects I never finish because I stew over the significance of my message. Since writing drains me of time, blood and tears, I figure I had better use my resources on endeavors that lift and edify or on those that change thinking in important and essential ways. You know—tasks worthy of my trouble.

I'm not saying that other forms of writing aren’t just as noteworthy, but I have to be true to myself. If I have to struggle to write, I want to write something that will mean something to ME years from now. I want to make my mark on the universe, in the most comfortable method for my psyche and personality.

I like to laugh, and I enjoy a story where I don’t have to dig too deeply to ponder the meaning, but someone forgot to install my funny bone before they sent me to earth. If I attempted to write the witty and fun-filled fiction that Janette Rallison pens, I’d never get my nose in the publishing door. More importantly, in the back of my mind, in the very root of my soul, I can’t ignore the stirrings that drive me toward the more serious side of my craft either.

That’s okay. We all have to find our niche for telling our stories, and thank goodness they differ in scope and purpose than in other authors’ works. It would be a dull existence if we had to read the same style and category all the time. And there is all kinds of room in the writer's mansion. But that which we feel comfort in creating, should come from the best that we have within us.

I love President Spencer W. Kimball's quote about greatness. "Let us remember, too, that greatness is not always a matter of the scale of one's life, but of the quality of one's life. True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are. In that attitude let us give of our time, ourselves and our talents to the things that really matter now, things that will still matter a thousand years from now."

So in all we do as writers, I hope we strive for greatness in whatever form of the written word we pursue. “Shoot for the stars,” my friend, Anna Arnett, says, “and you might hit the top of the telephone pole.” And if we strive for a quality ride, I’m willing to bet we'll hit even higher.

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