Friday, November 11, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Credit: Public Domain
          More than Just Words

Since setting out on my "storyteller's journey" a decade ago, I've met all sorts of writers. (Meeting these scribes has had a deep impact on my life.) They come in a wide variety of ages and personalities and they pen in a diverse collection of genres. There is one difference that I find fascinating:

The varying motivations for being a writer.

While many writers adhere to the belief that to be a "real writer" you must have had a lifelong desire to be one; I don't fit into that category.

Then there are those who believe that you must have had a formal education that equips you to pursue a life as a writer. I don't fit into that category either. (My degree is in Dental Hygiene.)

The very basic passion for reading and writing stories is one that most serious writers of fiction all have in common. I do fit into that category.

In the end, I don't believe there is one "right reason" for being a writer. However, I do strongly believe that there is one important trait all writers must possess: Their writing must be more than just words. They must have a burning passion for something in life that causes them to pick up their pen and write. We each must have a "fire in our soul" for a cause or a belief that compels us to write. If a writer pens a story without a cause, passion, or belief, their words will be empty.

Writing without a "fire in the soul" is no different than a doctor treating patients without compassion, an athlete training for a track meet with no desire for competition, or a mother raising a child without love.

While our passions may not obviously show up in our writing, we must have an almost sacred reason for writing. We owe that to our readers.

After the results of the presidential election, there is plenty of fuel to light the fire of most writers. I saw this image online following the election results and realized it stated what we all need to remember:

Note: Next week I'll discuss what else motivates me to write!