Monday, May 4, 2009

Writers Conference

I had the awesome experience of attending my fourth LDStormakers Writing Conference on April 24 and 25, 2009. I came home literally exhausted but with my brain stuffed full of inspiration and knowledge and a heart full of hope.

These people are true artists in every sense of the word. Words are art. They create visual images, a gamut of emotions, and, if used in the way the Lord expects of us, they can inspire others and drive them forward in their deepest hopes and dreams.

My personal definition of a true artist is someone who has learned their craft through sacrifice, hard work and tears and is then willing to sacrifice even more by nurturing those who come behind them and may someday be their own competitors.

At the conference, I had a private conversation, about this very subject, with a much published LDStorymaker author, Josi Kilpack, whom I admire greatly.

I thanked her for her generosity in helping us aspiring authors. She was gracious about it and made a comment about how it was necessary for her. Necessary? To help someone who might one day take your place?

To me that is a true artist and I am forever grateful to have come across so many of them in both my writing and my art.

I asked a very talented painting mentor of mine what I could ever do to repay him for his time and sacrifice in my behalf.

His answer?

"Share what you know with someone else. That will pay me back."

Oh, I do hope, someday, to be a TRUE artist. I want to be that generous with my knowledge and see someone else reach their aspirations, even if they turn out to be a much better artist than I am.

Then I will get my own "payback."


  1. Hazel, I feel the same way. If it weren't for the Storymaker's conferences, and the other writers like Josi who have been such great mentors for me, I wouldn't be the writer I am now. I only hope I can be that kind of mentor for someone else.

    And I don't feel like other writers are my competition--I'm my only competition, really. Can I write a book the publishers will love, the public will love? Does my writing improve with each book? Even if Josi, Julie and half of the other Storymakers suddenly quit writing (which would be a terribly tragedy), MY books still have to be good enough to make the cut.

  2. Heather,
    Thanks for your wonderful insight. Especially the part about how even if the other writers were to quit, my work would still have to stand on its own and be good enough to make the cut. I really AM my only competitor. Love that thought.

    So it is with all the arts: writing, painting, music; and even with life, in general. My work must get better than it is now. Always better. After all, our goal should be PROGRESS! Right?


"Leftover Snow"

"Leftover Snow"
by Hazel Jensen (sold)

"Promise of Spring" by Hazel Jensen Winner of 2nd Place Award at the Lucille T. Stoddard Women's Art Show in Orem, Utah

Dry Fork Sentinels

Dry Fork Sentinels
by Hazel Jensen (sold)