Six years ago next month, I had this idea for a novel that wouldn’t leave me alone. It was silly, because I’d never had the desire to write a single word in my life. My dad is an author–a famous one even. I was a composer, a crazy music lady. Not an author.
But, the writing bug struck, and I was hit hard.
I started writing clean romances in May of ’08, and I haven’t stopped since. It’s been a blast. I love it! But it hasn’t been without its struggles.
Or major doubts.
Today I was reminded of a moment about four months into writing. I was busy revising the second draft of that first idea (now entitled Sadie) when another completely different novel hit me upside the head (now entitled Citizens of Logan Pond). In between editing Sadie, raising five kids, teaching piano, and all of my other commitments, I started working on this new project. And one day it hit me:
WHAT AM I DOING?
THIS IS INSANE!
Why am I spending all this time on some new hobby I know nothing about? What am I doing with my life? Was I really going to try to publish these books? Was I going to follow behind my dad’s enormous shadow? Did I actually think these books were any good anyway? I mean, I liked the ideas, but they were silly little stories in my head. I’ve always been a day dreamer, living in other worlds. Why on earth was I giving those daydreams a voice? What would my friends think?
What would anyone think?
It got to the point that four months into writing fiction, I was ready to quit. Go back to doing what I knew. Dishes. Laundry. Mothering. Existing.
And then I went to a women’s conference at my church.
One of the speakers, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, spoke on a topic I’ve never heard–before or since–addressed as a topic in any religious meeting of any type. I swear that speech was for me.
The full transcript is here, but here’s a quick clip:
I’m not a crier, but the tears streamed in that conference. I love, love, love this concept.
We are creative beings, spiritual offspring of the most creative Being in the universe.
We were born to create.
I was born to create.
I am a creator.
I know it might sound crazy, but those words changed me. Yes, I’m a mom and a wife and my family is my top priority. But they don’t need me 24/7. Neither does the TV, Facebook, Bejeweled Blitz, or whatever. Because I’m a creator.
Since that women’s conference, I’ve published two books, have three more under contract, and about five more plotted. I’ve published many songs, with about forty others waiting for a spare moment to be polished.
I adopted the attitude that the sky is the limit.
I’m an author AND a composer. It might confuse people that I do both, but so be it. And yet I’m tempted to say instead, “I’m a creator. I love to create.” Whether that’s books, music, photos, a website, an amazing dinner, or a smile on my kids’ faces really doesn’t matter.
Whatever I create, good or bad, big or small, is good enough, because the process of creating something from nothing brings me incredible, immense joy.
I’m a creator.
I love to create.
I’m guessing you do, too.
So create. Don’t worry about what, where, when, why, or even if it makes sense. “Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you.” Even if that critic is yourself.
Just do it.
Improve. Beautify. Extend. Smile. Cultivate. Develop.
16 thoughts on “The Desire to Create”
That explains so much, Rebecca! Whatever I’m doing, whether it be editing or cleaning house or even just watching TV, I often have to stop and make something: design a website, write a story, design a book cover, draw a picture… something creative. I’m a creator [the lightbulb just lit up in my mind]! Thank you for enlightening post!
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Ha! Yes! We’re similar that way. I’ve never felt comfortable with the phrase, “I’m creative.” That seems like too much pressure, almost as if it requires not just output, but quality. But to just create is no pressure. Just fun. Thanks for your thoughts, Julie! (And for sharing your creations with us.)
I love this. What a simple and beautiful truth. I’m glad you didn’t quit!!
Me, too! Thank you President Uchtdorf. :) I’m glad there are more in the family creating books, too. :)
I think it’s just in my blood. Even when I don’t find time for weeks, it just rolls around in my brain until I have to write things down :) I love writing, but I do worry about the quality. It makes me feel so much better to read President Uchtdorf’s words and realize it’s something important to do.
I know exactly what you mean. Some scenes sit in my head for a long time before I can get them down. I almost think they turn out better that way. I get them set in my head before I have to put them down. I agree on President Uchtdorf’s thoughts. The end result isn’t necessarily as important as just the act of creating.
I’m glad you are a creator…because I love reading your creative works…and playing your songs (when I can…my skills have grown rusty because I haven’t played much in the last couple years).
Thanks!!!!! And same with you. I’m anxious for your book 3. How’s it coming along?
It’s coming along slow. I’ve had a dickens of a time with beta readers being slow at reading this time…and I’ve not had the energy to nag them because I know their lives are busy and I’m too laid back to be a taskmaster. But it’s coming.
Bummer. I know how important beta readers are, but it’s always hard waiting for feedback, especially when it’s slow in coming. Good luck!
This was just the pep talk I needed. Thanks for the timely reminder. :) Charity
I needed the reminder, too. :) Good luck!
Thanks for the insight–I have kinda wondered how a composer got into writing. And felt a little jealous that you can do both.
It’s fun. What’s been fascinating is finding out how many other authors I know who are also musical. There must be something linked in the brain there. And really, the two passions aren’t that different from each other. Music and books both tell stories, just in a different way. :)
So glad you still write!