Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The measure of my creation

Just this morning in my journal I was writing about the "measure of my creation." What is it? How do you discover/uncover it?

Is mine writing (which I've dreamed of doing since I was 10)? Or is it polishing the writing of others? Is it teaching? Publishing and distributing? All of these things pull at my heart.

What if you think it is one thing and spend all your time and energy pursuing it, only to discover it was something else entirely? This question has plagued me for the past three years.

I want it to be writing. I want to write. But what if that is not what God wants me to do? What if He has something else in mind? This morning I prayed that God would help me to see clearly, to discover the answer of the measure of my personal creation.

I opened the book, Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, to work on my class assignment. This is the very first thing I read:

"Everyone is a writer. YOU ARE A WRITER. [emph. added]...

"When we write, we create, and when we offer our creation to one another, we close the wound of loneliness and may participate in healing the broken world. Our words, our truth, our imagining, our dreaming, may be the best gifts we have to give." (p. xix)

Many years ago when I was released from the position of YW president (working with teen girls in my church), my heart was sad and heavy because I loved working with the youth. I felt the Spirit comfort me and strongly witness to me that this was not the end of my interaction with the youth; that at the end of my life, when I look back the majority of my service would be spent with the youth, the teenagers.

That was nearly 20 years ago and I have not had a church calling to work with the youth since then. Sometimes I have wondered if I got it wrong, but no--that confirmation was so strong, I cannot doubt it, even as I grow older and the calling never materializes.

When I read that quote, following so immediately upon my prayers and thoughts on the measure of my creation, it was as if I'd been standing in a dark and empty stadium and suddenly the bright white lights had come on, illuminating the entire area.

What does my heart long to write?
Stories for teenagers!

Of the 20 or so novel outlines I have in my files, how many are YA?

What do my stories all have in common?
Themes of navigating the world with integrity; choosing the right no matter what; facing your fears, even if they may destroy you; learning to trust a "higher power" (even if it's a unicorn)!

Do you see where I'm going with this? The clues have been all around me for years, waiting for me to notice them.

I am a writer.
That is the measure of my creation.

I write for youth--teens and young adults.
That is my calling. (Not all callings come through the Church, perhaps the most important ones do not.)

When I have completed the stories bouncing around in my mind, it will represent my "life's work,"
the majority of it aimed at and written for teens, youth.

Now I have to go be flabbergasted for awhile.


Josi said...

wow, you gave me chills. congrats.

Jen said...

Very nice post. Now I'm all stumped & wondering what the measure of my creation is.

And I'm so glad you aren't one of those ladies whose measure of their creation is only their kids. We are more than our birthing hips!

Karlene said...

I heard Rachel Nunes (LDS author) say at a workshop once (paraphrase), "Our children are the most important thing, but they aren't the only important thing."

That's always stuck with me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Karlene,

I taught a class on this at the last LDStorymakers Writers' Conference. The upshot of the whole thing was that if you feel a strong pull toward writing, then you are a writer. I love how all of your instincts and inspirations came together for you on this -- knowing what you're supposed to be doing is such a tremendous blessing.

Another upshot of the class was that for each of our talents, we took classes in the pre-existence to learn how to hone those talents. You're just continuing here what you started there.

I'm excited to see what you write first!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

What a wonderful thing to discover that for yourself.

I was in Tristi's class last spring and I still talk about it all the time. It totally changed how I view everything I do.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Tristi, I had never thought about talents that way, about honing them in heaven.

As far as being a writer goes...I've been doubting myself lately. My writing is going nowhere and I keep wondering what I'm supposed to do, and the answer I keep getting is "keep writing."

And my response is "then can you make it so I get paid for it?"

Kenna said...

I've always wondered...
If the talents each of us have been given weren't chosen specifically for us because of where our passions are.

I know this isn't always the case because I have always wanted to be a dancer but I'm horrible at it.

I could be an amazing chef if I had a passion for cooking. I know the potential is there.

I guess the question is, do I love music because I'm good at it, or am I good at it because I love it?

Do you love writing because you're gifted, or are you a gifted writer because you love it?

I guess it boils down to a combination of gifts and passion. If the parable of the talents rings true, AND if men are that they may have joy, then I feel the measure of our creation lies in the combination of what makes us happy, and what gifts we have.

If the measure of my creation were writing, then you might know what on earth I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

I love it when answers to prayer pop up like that! Awesome! And I love that quote from the book, too! Your blog is always a great read, so I know your writing career will be great as well.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

How exciting, Karlene. I'm so thrilled for you. Finding the measure of our creation is such an exciting journey filled with wrong turns and pitfalls, or are they simply experiences that make us all the richer and more prepared for the purpose of our lives on this earth. I believe it is the latter.

Welcome to the writing community . . . as a writer!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Drop back by my blog today. I added an Addendum with all the links to those missing in action yesterday. Plus added a plug for Tristi's performance at the next Blogging Babe dinner.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Okay, back again. And Karlene, I know you already knew about this, but I'm reminding everyone:

There are 23 days left and counting, ladies . . . if you have the most wonderful husband in the world, you need to nominated him!

I know there are other wonderful husbands out there. Until midnight November 30, 2007 I will be taking nominations via this email address The six finalists will be posted, please send a picture with the nomination, on December 1, 2007 when voting will commence and the winner will be chosen by you. Sadly, because it would just be skewed, my husband cannot win although I think he'd be a shoe in. On December 15, 2007 the winner will be announced.

We have some great husbands already nominated, but I know there are more out there. So start nominating! Tell me about your husband and why you think he is the Best Husband in the World! That would be world . . . ladies, no geographic boundaries.

Annette Lyon said...

How wonderful for you! I say go for it.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Speaking of writing . . .

Just a reminder to swing by and leave your final word count for the BIAM.