Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Blogger -- Rebecca J. Carlson

Small Things With Great Love

I used to dream of writing a great book. I wanted to be like Madeline L'Engle or Gail Carson Levine and win the Newbery with my first novel.

That ambition served me to a point. I worked hard, learned the craft, and demanded quality writing from myself. But aspiring to glory had a high cost.

When I think I have to be a great writer, it splits my artist's soul into two parts, one part pretending that I am great and the other part afraid that I'm no good at all. The higher my false image of my greatness, the deeper becomes my fear.

How can I write anything honestly while I suffer from this double-vision? It makes it hard to see my work clearly and to take comments from readers. Sometimes I can't get a single sentence down on the paper because I feel it has to be brilliant the first time it comes out. Even worse, this fear and this pretense makes it hard to enjoy reading because I compare myself to the other writer, trying to prove I'm better but afraid I'm not.

So I no longer want to write a great book. As Mother Teresa said, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

My new goal - to write a small book with great love. If I write a book not because I have to prove anything, but as an act of love and sharing, then all the fear and pretense go away. I can enjoy writing, enjoy reading what I write, enjoy reading what other people write, and celebrate everyone's success as we use the divine spark of creativity that is in us. Because of all the wonderful books I've read, and all the time and love the writers put in to creating them, I want to give too. I want to write my own small books with great love.

-Rebecca J. Carlson


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  2. Hi Sweety!

    You know what? I think you are a great writer! I love your style. I love your voice. I love your plots! You are an awesome story teller!

    I know exactly how you feel! I have felt that way many times (with Darkspell, too!)

    You know what's funny? Everyone tries to pursue the "American Dream". To discover what you love and try to make money out of it. When we try to turn it into a career (where we put our souls out on the lines), we are exposing ourselves to the world.

    You are so right about going back to before all the hurt, confusion and heartache bloomed. I wrote something along these lines (Sept 2 here in this blog). Return to Innocence.

    I know Heavenly Father gave us the storytelling gift for a purpose. We are keen enough daughters of God to have recognized that gift with His help.

    We can turn all this into something fun! Still keep up with what you have written. Try to enjoy it. Would you prefer to go over it by fone? I would love to be here for you no matter what! I only wish we lived VERY close to each other so we could get together and throw a salsa party like Lisa Mangum did with her writing buds!

    I think we need to reward ourselves large. Equal or more to the size we put into our writing (brainstorming counts, too)! :)

  3. Great thought Rebecca! It is so east to loose sight of our real goal and purpose as writers-to share our stories and ourselves. Thanks for this little reminder : )

  4. I've been suffering from the same "split soul" problem lately. Great thoughts. I agree, when you focus on the aftermath of writing your "great novel," you can never really get into the spirit of that novel and write from your heart.

  5. I LOVE THIS BLOG! Thanks so much for letting me be a guest---I'm so grateful for all the love and support I get from you sisters!



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