Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Develop Your Own Talent

by C. LaRene Hall

After returning from my vacation, I was quickly looking through some of the emails from the Authors Incognito group that I belong to, and one by Marta Smith quickly caught my attention. She mentioned how her husband thought it was great that she liked to write - as a hobby. He thought it was something that could wait until their children were grown and she had more time.

Wrong. That’s exactly what I did, but not because someone else thought, I should wait. It never occurred to me that I could write and still be a mom. I have regretted that decision many times in the past few years. Because of that choice, I missed many opportunities and thousands of stories that I didn’t act on vanished from my head. The only time that I wrote something other than a letter or my journal was when someone in my church wanted me to write something for a program they were doing.

Marta told about finding a quote by President Hinckley. "Give your companion the opportunity to grow in her own interests, to develop her own talents, to fly her own way, and to experience her own sense of accomplishment." Ensign May 2003

I was always busy fulfilling my church callings and taking care of my children that I never once thought about myself and my talents. Several years after my children had left the nest, I found myself one day looking at an ad about writing. It caught my attention and it only took a few days for me to gather the courage to approach my husband and ask if it was okay if I looked into it. I, like Nichole, took a correspondent Children’s Writing Class (from the same company). That is what changed my life.

I realize that my husband also needs to do things that he enjoys. Like me, after our marriage, he hid his talents. He used to be a good artist, but with not developing it, he no longer has that ability. Because of health issues, many of the things he likes to do, he can no longer do. For several years, he built and painted birdhouses. A year ago, he made a leather coin purse for every child and grandchild for Christmas.

Now, I talk with all my grandchildren about developing their talents, no matter what they are. It’s surprising to me how many of them actually love to write. I think by me pursuing my talents it has helped them to realize they also have something to say.

When I speak with other children, such as at the library in Nebraska, I also encourage them to seek after the things they enjoy and to develop the talents they have. This world needs the talents of every one of us. We need writers, artist, ball players, cooks, seamstresses, teachers, and pilots. We all need to excel in what we like to do, no matter what it is.


Rebecca said...

This is a wonderful post! It's something I've struggled with, waiting 'until'. I'm learning that maybe I can't write or knit or do other things full-time with four young children, but I can do them some of the time. And I'm a better mom for it, too.

Evelyn Campbell Curtis said...

After all, our talents are gifts from our Heavenly Father. I love this post. I have found that writing is a great outlet for me as a young mother, wife, homemaker, and all that come with the title. It is time where I can be in my own head by myself.

It is true, we need to be encouraging our spouses to develop their talents. I suppose I do not do that enough toward my own spouse, yet he is great with supporting me. Thanks for the moment of reflection!

Jolene Perry said...

I was fortunately raised by a mom who was always up to something. Mom got a little time every day and we were cool with that. What it did for me was make me unafraid to start writing a lot sooner than I may have done. I have to stop mid stream quite a lot, but my kids have always known that I need a little time each day to be a good mommy. I'm VERY grateful for that.

Michael Knudsen said...

Good cautionary tale, Connie. I've let one too many decades slide by with writing in the back of my mind, and I won't let it happen again. Our talents CAN be squeezed in among our other roles and the fulfillment will be "added upon" what we receive from church and family duties.

Steve said...

I need creative outlets, and in the past my job, family and church callings provided many of those outlets. But then my job changed into a trial of boredom and my church calling was less than demanding so I found myself looking for a creative and fulfilling way to occupy my time, so I started to write.

The talents and discipline I had developed in other areas then transferred to my new writing projects but now my life is overflowing with projects and my limited creativity is being stretched in too many directions.

Does anyone else have this problem?

franklycreative said...

I loved this post and agree whole-heartedly. I know that I need a constant creative outlet. I'm much happier and pleasant to be around when I get my fix of creativity on a regular basis. Think of all the things Heavenly Father creates. No wonder He is so pleasant to be around.