Just got back from my favorite Writer's Conference--LDStorymakers. Loved the classes, seeing friends, and getting inspired. For me, the keynote address by Martine Leavitt was one of those inspiring moments. She shared her own personal journey to success and how we need to believe in ourselves.
Martine compared herself to her talented sisters. In trying to find her own area to excel, she turned to writing since she loved to read. Trying held as much frustration as satisfaction. Finally the day came that she didn't throw away what she wrote the previous day. She sent off several articles, which were rejected. What was with that? Did she have to do more than convey a meaning? Maybe it should be interesting, original. Maybe she should think of the reader. Martine learned humility.
Craving more time to write, Martine made tough choices while raising a family and serving in her church. She remained true to a commitment to write every day, even if for a few minutes. It made her happy, but also taught the value of each word. "Write each word as if it is special," she said. "A parent who is happy because she writes is worth a lot."
Life threw some curves Martine's way. She became a single parent, remarried, had a large family, new job, etc. She learned that the way you live matters. Service gave her a new type of love to be a better writer. We need to hear the hearts of others. We need to believe in ourselves and be humble. We need the influence of the best books, children in our lives, and learning to love.
What I write shouldn't be determined by others. There are those that think Mormon writing is filled with too much sunshine. Gray areas are not as interesting as darkness where light breaks through. The world hungers for the types of books we can write. Make a work of art of ourselves and believe.
A couple of her thoughts on talent:
Talent can be dangerous because you might believe you don't have to work hard.
Believing you have a talent gives a responsibility to it. Believe.