Finding Meaning in Writing

Sometimes it seems like being a writer isn’t really a big deal. Especially because I write fiction. How does that help anyone? Is it even something that matters?

Sometimes we need a story to understand a concept or to put a different spin on a topic. Fiction can challenge your beliefs and leave you torn as you consider how you would act in that situation. It can help you see something you didn’t see before. It can even spur you to take action.

I think about the parables Jesus told and I’m reminded that creating fictional stories can be important. A story that has meaning behind it resonates and sticks with the readers. If Jesus used stories to help people understand, then being a storyteller can be a noble task if it’s used in a positive way.

I am reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. It’s a simple story with a deeper meaning. I’ve read it before, but I don’t think I was mentally ready to accept what it had to say. I had teenager syndrome where I didn’t think it could teach me anything. Now, I’m finding it very meaningful, especially because of where I’m at in my life today.

In the past year or two, I’ve become an avid reader. At first, it was really to escape reality. To have an adventure in the midst of my boring life. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. But I read, not just to escape, but to understand.

I understand myself more than many people do. College gave me time to sort through some issues, and my travels have opened my eyes to the good and bad that lives inside me. It sounds some simple when I put it that way. So conquered. But that beast does rise up and go for my throat from time to time. Conquering our demons is not something that only happens once. It always comes back for more. That’s the nature of the beast.

Stories can help me make more sense of myself, but lately, I think they are helping me understand the forces at work outside of me as well.

Stories can help you understand someone else’ motives. As a writer, I need to know the motives of my characters. So as a reader, I search for those motives in the author’s characters. I need those motives to believe in what the story has to tell me. No one acts in a malicious way without having an underlying reason, even if it has nothing to do with the person they are attacking. If you think of it that way, it’s easier to forgive someone for mistreating you.

In the end, I’m grateful to be a writer. There’s something amazing about sharing my heart with people through what I write. It almost feels dangerous putting yourself out there and exposing yourself to possible criticism. And sometimes you do get hurt. But you are always rewarded your for the risk in some way.

Here’s to more writing risks!


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