Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another FABULOUS Guest Post From Rebecca Carlson!

To Touch Other People

On the way home from the grocery store this morning I began to wonder if this world would be a better place if I wasn’t a writer. I drove past a man in a tattered knit cap, a backpack on his shoulder, his face shadowed with homelessness. If I wasn’t a writer, I could volunteer for two hours a day at a homeless shelter. At a stop sign, a woman on crutches crossed in front of me, headed to the hospital on the other side of the street. If I wasn’t a writer, I could volunteer for two hours a day at the hospital. My heart swelled. The world seemed full of pain, my brothers and sisters in need, and I wanted to do something to help. Why was I wasting so much time typing stories?

When I got home, as I was unloading groceries, a friend of mine drove up into my driveway. She got out of her car and threw her arms around me. “I have to thank you,” she said in a choked voice. “I have to thank you.” For a few moments she couldn’t say anything. “Thank you for that beautiful CD you gave me. Your brother-in-law’s CD. It is so beautiful. I listened to it on the way to the temple this morning. The music is so beautiful. It touches my heart.”

My brother-in-law is an actor and a singer. I would never, ever want him to stop being what he is, even though he had to go on tour this year while my sister stayed home with three little children and one on the way. Yes, it would be easier for them if he had a more ordinary job, but if he wasn’t what he was, then that wonderful CD would never have happened. It has touched so many people, lifted so many hearts.

When I told the story to my sister over the phone, told her how my friend had thrown her arms around me and thanked me for the CD, my sister said with a big smile in her voice, “That’s what we live for.” That’s what she and her husband and family sacrifice so much for. To touch other people with music.

And after I hung up the phone, I thought that there are many ways to help our brothers and sisters in this life, many ways to relieve their pain, and I dream that someday maybe I’ll write a book that will make one friend throw her arms around another and say, “Thank you! Thank you for that beautiful book you gave me.”

-Rebecca J. Carlson


  1. Wow, Rebecca. This couldn't have come at a better time. I've been questioning my life's mission as a writer for the past few weeks, and it has come to a head this weekend. I've seriously considered giving up writing and going back to work in our restaurant, which is what I've done for the past 20 years. I've been searching for some kind of sign that remaining a writer is the right thing for me to do and just today there have been many. Your blog is one of them. Thanks for being inspired to write this. I truly believe that we have a calling in life and that we will touch the lives of others through our words. Great post. Thanks

  2. You know... I lost some amazing friends once I got my agent over a year ago. Some of them came back slowly--I guess the thought of me being *famous* and not their friend was too much for them.

    But others--even great friends for years and years... still won't talk to me. Can hardly be around me, because it would seem I'm more successful than them.

    If I didn't know 100% that Heavenly Father wanted me to write these books and take this path, so I can help many authors along the way... then I would've given up way back then.

    But then, there are moments--moments that are happening more frequently now... moments where I'll read a Christmas card from a friend, or we'll be talking on the phone--and do you know what they've been saying?

    "Jenni, you inspire me so much! You give me so much hope... I know if you can do this, follow your dreams and do and be what the Lord has asked you to do... then, I can achieve anything."

    I feel my true mission is just starting... It scares me, and excites me and liberates me in ways I'll never be able to fully understand, but I'm ready.


  3. Oh, gosh, Jenni! I am so sorry to hear that some of your friends had a hard time with you finding success. One of the things I love about this blog is that it promotes a spirit of all of us being on the journey together. Published, unpublished, agented, un-agented - we all hang together and help each other along the way, just as we should help our brothers and sisters in life no matter where they are on the path.

  4. I feel this way sometimes. Usually it comes in the form of feeling like my writing time is taking away from time spent with my children. It is definitely a balancing act.

    My book is coming out in March and I hope it will touch lives, but I've already received notes of appreciation for blogs and articles that I've written. Knowing you can touch the life of someone you may never meet makes it all worth it.



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