Saturday, June 24, 2006

Standing on the Precipice

by Keith Fisher
It is an honor to be asked to write this blog. I have sat in awe of the other writers as I have read their words and never dreamed that I could measure up to those standards. I also hope you will show me the errors in my writing and chalk it up to my imperfections.
Back in March, while I was attending the LDS StoryMakers conference, I enjoyed the lessons and speeches given by the authors. They were there to lend a hand to us young upstarts. I am still digesting all the information I received.

I was pleased that there are so many people who feel a need to write. They don’t just need to write, but they want to write for the LDS market. It was gratifying to be with kindred spirits that have made some of the same covenants that I have made. I enjoyed a comment made by someone (and I hope I quote it correctly).

"It is so nice to be in the company of people who understand me when I say, I’m having a hard time getting my characters to be reverent in Sacrament Meeting."
I think that Ben Bracken said it best: After sitting through Tristi Pinkston’s class on dealing with inspiration in our writing, he was asked how the class went. He was obviously touched and said, "What can I say? It was like being in church." I think he was saying that he felt the spirit, and he was right.

That evening, Janette Rallison spoke to us and I enjoyed her thoughts. During and after her talk, I was given insight that I have attempted to share with others. I want to share it with you because I think it may encourage you, as it has me.
Unlike others, I did not Always want to write. In fact there was a time in my life when I intentionally avoided it. Like many of you, there was something prodding me, something (or someone) that pushed me toward the belief that I could tell a good story. Now here I am, a middle aged man, trying to learn grammar lessons that I should have learned in High school with characters who won’t leave me alone until I tell their story.
Getting back to Janette’s speech; She acknowledged that we may wonder why she would come and try to teach us how to be her competition. She explained that she had a personal reason for doing so and told us what it was. She had been involved in a public debate about decency in children’s literature and felt a need to have more people like her on the side of light, more authors writing books that reflect righteousness.

When I thought of the increasing numbers of those who have a desire to write in the LDS market and those who are LDS that publish in the national market, it occurred to me that perhaps we are all standing on a precipice being prepared to help fight the battle. To spread the love and good news of the Gospel, even if we do no more than keep the content clean.
For want of a better image, remember the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind when all those people suddenly had the same desire?

The thought that I may be of service in a small way gives me encouragement. It certainly explains why after 30 plus years, I suddenly had a desire to write. And why I still want to, after 15 years of struggling.

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