"We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. God's ammunition is not exhausted. His brightest spirits are held in reserve for the latter times. In God's name and by His help we will build up a literature whose top shall touch heaven, though its foundations may now be low in [the] earth." -- Orson Whitney
I've been hearing a lot about this quote lately. I'm on the Academy for the Whitney Awards, which will present trophies to the most outstanding books by LDS authors published in 2007. I'm tickled to be a part of it.
As I've participated in the blog hoopla surrounding this cool award, I've begun to have deep thoughts. The most quoted portion of this statement is, "We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own." Orson Whitney was speaking of the LDS people and the potential we have to build our talents. It's exciting to me, as an author, to think that if I persevere and continue to work on improving myself, that I might someday be considered a Milton or a Shakespeare. It's something to shoot for, certainly.
But I think the most important part of that quote goes overlooked much of the time. It reads, "In God's name and by His help." We can't expect God to prosper us if we aren't writing according to His desires for us. If we turn to Him, dedicate the things we write to Him, and ask for help, that is when the doors of Heaven will be opened to us and we'll be able to be wise in the execution of our crafts.
I know that the times when I have really taken myself to the Lord and turned myself over to Him, my writing is better. I find research information more easily. I can get more done in less time. The words simply flow better. When I don't turn to Him, my writing is stiff and clunky. I can't figure out how to get from Point A to Point A and a half, let alone B.
So this is my challenge to those of you who read my blog and are authors. Turn your projects over to the Lord. Make Him your writing partner. Pray for guidance and direction on your plot, your dialogue, your characters. He will open your mind and make the words come.