I had a fiction writing workshop yesterday and the people who submitted stories were asked by the professor a very simple but profound question, “Why did you write this story?” They each were silent for a moment and then eventually answered. One realized he wrote the story simply because he thought it was an interesting topic but it was nothing he ever experienced. The professor went on to say that often our experiences make for a better story than the ones we make up. He said that people tend to think there stories aren’t interesting and that’s a shame.
My drive home yesterday evening was a quiet one as my mind was flooded with thought of “why.” What am I trying to accomplish as a writer? What impact or change am I trying to make with my words? Am I just simply telling stories for stories sake? Alright, that last question was a bit weird but I found myself in serious contemplation.
I’ve come up with a few answers to those questions and I’m still working through my thoughts, so I won’t share them just yet; but I do believe that I am on the path to finding out who I am as a writer. I think if I could figure it out it will change the trajectory of my life.
So to my fellow writers, Why do you write what you write? Are you telling stories of your experiences? Do your stories mean something to you?
I pray for clarity for all of us as we walk this beautifully complicated but simple journey!