Does the God of all the universe and all within the expanse of eternity care about my measly writing goals? Does it matter one bit if I craft a perfect paragraph, finally locate the key to my research, design a stunning book cover, type The End on a manuscript?
In the same way I cheer on my young grandchildren when they learn a new skill or stretch in anyway, I think He does. I think the act of writing, of linking words together like beads on a string is a significant part of eternity. There’s a lot of dark influences in the world; anything we can do to push back the darkness even a little bit is worth doing.
Dieter F Uchdorf said in October 2008:
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
How does this apply to writing? Have you ever found yourself caught up in a plot line, enthused about how well that part turned out, felt a swelling sense of accomplishment reading over words you personally strung together? In a very small (but valuable!) way, that’s a shadow of God’s creations. After the earth was created, Genesis records the Creator stepping back and saying, “It is good.” Not spectacularly overwhelmingly awesomely wonderful, but good. Our writing is like that. Perfection is a process. Anything we learn in this world becomes part of us, our very being. Learning to expand our skills in communication and expression is not sneeze-worthy.
In Alma 34 we read:
Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
I don’t have flocks or fields or crops. I’m not really an animal lover, and this is the first year in twenty-seven I didn’t plant a garden. What I do have is a desire to write. For a while, I felt funny praying for help in my writing, but old Alma had a point; if it matters to me, it’s worth praying over.
Sometimes, usually in that place between awake and asleep, inspiration will strike me and I’ll pick up paper and pen. Ideas for a new book, a plot twist, a way to untangle written dialogue, a nudge to write that article I’ve been putting off; often, ideas flow faster than I can write them down, like a waterfall of inspiration. Irrelevant things, perhaps, in the scheme of things, but it’s a reminder that my attempts at creating are noticed outside of my own mind. Sometimes I can sense a heavenly cheering section, encouraging me on, imperfect though my attempts may be.
Waffling about writing? Feeling like you’re not good enough? Get back to it anyway! And don’t forget to pray. Help stands waiting, I’m certain of it.