Sunday, February 16, 2014

Life, the Universe, and Everything

My wife and I had a blast this weekend going with some friends to Life, the Universe, and Everything, a convention centered around writing science fiction and fantasy.  Many published authors were in attendance, with some big names like David Farland, Brandon Sanderson, and Orson Scott Card, all offering advice on a variety of topics that included tension and drama, character development, making the most of writing time, and selling a finished novel.  If you want to become a better writer--in any genre--it's a great idea to go at least once.

Being a creative writing major at Utah Valley University, I found this weekend's convention to be a wonderful supplement to my education.  Some of the best advice I've ever received came from Henry J. Eyring, whose grandfather said to find something you love doing so much that you think about it when you don't have to think about anything.  Well, if this is how I spent my weekend, I must be on the right track.

But I got more out of it than just writing tips.

In several discussions there were people who asked how to promote their books once they got published.  The question was answered by a different author every time, but the answer was always the same:

You've got to talk to people about your book.  Talk to everyone.  Do book tours, do social media, visit schools--be committed.  Word of mouth is the fastest way your book will get attention.

My first thought was, That sounds like being a missionary.

And that's when the Spirit called me to repentance.

I'm currently writing a novel that's sort of a mash-up of Wall-E and Final Fantasy, with a tiny bit of Battlestar Galactica thrown in.  I love talking about it.  I was explaining one little aspect of the story to my wife one day and an hour or two later she knew the book pretty much from beginning to end.  

But you know, that stuff's not important.  Not really.

If I loved talking about the Book of Mormon as much as I love talking about my novel, I'd make a greater difference in the world.  That's not to diminish the impact that fiction makes on people's lives; I can list all sorts of books that have touched me and made me a better person.  But pure truth, the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is more powerful than any other written word.  It changes lives more deeply than anything else.  Reading The Little Prince taught me how to build better relationships with people.  The Book of Mormon teaches me how to build a stronger, more personal relationship with God.  The question of priorities should be a no-brainer!

If I'm willing to talk about my novel and gain readership, I ought to be talking about the scriptures even more.  They've changed my life.  They've opened my heart and my mind to my Heavenly Father, and because of that, I have access to the aid of the most powerful, loving being in the universe every single day.  He's there for me.  He's actually in my life, and it's real.

It's real.

And that's what the world needs the most.

Thus my attempt to begin blogging again.  Mine is only one testimony.  But it is a testimony, and that's the most important thing I can give as a writer.

And you don't even have to take my word for it; just follow this link!

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