By Nichole Giles
Last week as I prepared to leave on a family vacation to Yellowstone a good friend and fellow blogger said to me, “It will inspire you.”
Actually, I am the kind of person who is inspired easily. Maybe it’s a girl thing, or maybe just part of my personal nature, but I have always found Heavenly Father’s beautiful creations inspiring. Tonight I wonder if it is my appreciation for His portrait of our world that fuels my need to write.
Having lived in deserts and mountains, visited big cities and oceans, and natural wonders of many kinds, I have been fortunate to see different parts of our little piece of this earth, each one magnificent in its own way. My friend was right. I was inspired this time, as I have been so many times before.
Luckily, I have chosen to not limit myself—or my writing—to middle-grade fiction. Middle grade is my genre, but not my boundary. As a writer, I choose to diversify myself—using magazines and smaller publications as guidelines and goals. Keeping a journal is definitely important, and documenting special family trips is a great idea too. But what do I do with the four-page commentary I wrote on the wonders and beauty we discovered in Yellowstone? If I were to go to Arches National Park in Southern Utah, and feel inspired there, what would I do with that piece of writing besides file it away? Or if I were to write about the developments of the hidden wonders inside Mount Timpanogos cave, would that piece of writing go into the file drawer never to be seen or read by anyone but me and my immediate family? It better not!
Diversity is inspiring in itself. Familiarize yourself with the magazine market. There are numerous opportunities to sell smaller pieces of fiction and nonfiction to publications, which might be delighted to publish your work. This knowledge is both comforting and encouraging to me. I can indulge myself in something I might not otherwise put the time into, strengthening my writing, and broadening my horizons.
Yesterday, instead of editing another chapter of my nearly finished work of fiction, I allowed my inspiration to flow into something completely different. I began to paint a portrait of the things I have seen and felt. It felt tremendously good to let my emotions flow through the tips of my fingers to be manifested on a monitor, creating the world as I had seen it. But it left me wondering.
I wonder if this is what Heavenly Father felt like when He was creating our world? His is a portrait more artistic and beautiful than any we can create on paper or in our minds. And we have the privilege of living here. In Heavenly Father’s portrait. In Heavenly Father’s story.