Convention of Statesmen


Caught on Kerry Lynn Blair's Mt. Rushwritenomore

Today I read Six LDS Writers and a Frog blog by Kerry Lynn Blair, which she posted last week. She wrote, after describing the book "Ming Lo Moves the Mountain" by Arnold Lobel. Kerry wrote:
"For some months now I’ve lived at the base of the very tall, dark, treacherous Mt. Rushtowritenomore. Although I had a book released this year, I wrote it early in 2006. Since then I’ve written nothing at all. In the meantime, possibly everybody I know has rushed past me to conquer that darn mountain. They’ve published a book, sold a book to a publisher (or two), sent a newly-completed book in, or started a tale that is sure to be their opus. While I’m genuinely thrilled for their skill and success as I watch them climb, they do tend to inadvertently knock a lot of rocks down on my head."
I, too, have had a very difficult time writing over the last 18 months. Oh, I've produced work, but have deleted far more than has survived my ruthless critique. Only three chapters on one book and six on the other. My first 18 months of writing I had three books published: "Forged in the Refiner's Fire," "13-0: Reflections of Champions," and "Out of the Shadows Into the Light." Then many family emergencies seemed to converge at once, lasting the next 18 months. Until the day I metaphorically stepped out into the sunlight, I didn't realize the clouds I had been living under, nor the transfer of my living location to Mt. Rushwritenomore.

It's easy to begin believing those first books were a fluke, except that I can remember when I couldn't wait to sit down at my computer and write to my heart's content. So I can't help but begin to think that personal tragedy and trauma severely drain the creative process existing within one's soul.

So how do I get off this mountain? Well, I think the answer might be simpler than I think. I haven't paused to "fill the well within" for at least 18 months.
  • I didn't attend the temple as often as I should have.
  • I was no longer going on dates with my husband (money, illness, tragedy got in the way.)
  • I spent very little time with friends, other than those who accompanied on my journey.
  • I didn't read much anymore.
  • I didn't write much anymore.
  • I hadn't gardened in 18 months.
  • I hadn't walked every morning for 18 months.
In other words, while my heart, mind and body were dealing with emergency after emergency, my soul began to wither an die. Creatively we cannot exist unless we do things that fill our spirits to overflowing. To a writer, life must exist on every level and dimension. We see things in a three dimensional manner full of early morning color. With every season, every sunrise, every sunset, there is always something new brewing in our minds. Our creativity is charged by life. If we cease to live it, our creativity will cease as well.

So, now I have to take my own advice. Tomorrow morning I will arise early and walk. I used to love greeting the day that way, I'm going to begin again. Then I will do everything else I have eschewed as of late. I will read again. I will attend the temple on a weekly basis again. I will plant a small fall flower garden, since the Japanese beetle prevented us from planting our usual vegetable garden. My husband and I will go for walks every night. I will write again. I will be published again. Shelves will be filled with the tomes I write.

And by the way, Kerry. I love your books. You have such a gift for storytelling and humor that I can't put them down from the moment I pick them up. So let me swing by Mt. Rushwritenomore and let's find a way out together.
Caught on Kerry Lynn Blair's Mt. Rushwritenomore Caught on Kerry Lynn Blair's Mt. Rushwritenomore Reviewed by Candace Salima on Saturday, August 11, 2007 Rating: 5