Why do you write?
July 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm #115929
I’m genuinely curious–why do you write? Why did you start writing, and why do you continue? How does writing connect to your faith, or vice versa?July 9, 2020 at 5:04 pm #115932
Well, I write because it’s what I’m good at. 😁 I love it. And because I want to tell–no, show–people things that will impact them more than a conversation.
I started writing when I was… well, actually, I have no idea when I started. I’ve always written.
God has given each of us a gift that he wants us to use to glorify him. I want to show people who he is through writing.
That’s why. And because I just love it. 😊
What about you? Why do you write?
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.July 9, 2020 at 11:25 pm #115943
I write, because I literally can’t stop the stories that run through my head. I’ve always carried them with me; they are a part of me, like breathing. When I learned to write, I started jotting them down in little pamphlets my mom would staple together (though, as a six/seven year old, I ended up making more pictures than words XD) I ‘see’ stories everywhere, I love learning how to weave deep themes into compelling, character-driven stories. My hope for my stories is for people see things from a different perspective, or to get people to think and maybe see themselves and the world in a new, honest way. I can’t imagine doing anything else besides write stories (I might explode if forced to cease from writing).
As for faith, God has been teaching me how to be patient (I was really eager last year to self-publish a story I wrote; but He laid it on my heart to wait and grow in my skills). He has also been teaching me that I’m not perfect when it comes to writing, and that I need to learn and to grow and be humble (hence my forum signature; a perfect reminder that we are constantly learning as writers). And most of all, trust in Him and His timing and realize that the results of my story’s impact are all in His hands. I believe that writing is a gift from God, and am so thankful to be given a love for stories.
I hope this has been helpful.
May I ask why do you write and how did you get started?
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest HemingwayJuly 10, 2020 at 11:29 am #115948
I write because the stories are there, inside of me, all around me, and if I don’t get them out, they will always be trapped there, building up. I used to believe writing was a form of worship–just like singing and art. When I wrote, I was giving back to God the stories he had first given me. I still believe that, but I realize I haven’t written with that in mind in a while. It’s always “meet this deadline,” “get this word count,” etc. Recently, I hit a slump in my writing, and I think this is one of the primary reasons. I lost track of my end goal: to glorify God in all that I do. That’s partly why I wanted to hear how you all write, and how it relates to your walk. The other part was just because I was curious 🙂
I started writing when I was little. One of the first “stories” I can remember making up was a single sentence long. I think I was about six. I haven’t stopped since, and the stories just continue to grow in size and meaning, building on top of one another. It has been my release, my comfort, my passion, and the way I talk to God. Once, I didn’t know how writing could be a God-thing. How can something fictional lead back to him? But then I realized that I can show things with my words, things I could never convey through art or speaking or even just my everyday actions. I can touch people, offer them a view of the world they may not have experienced yet. And more than that, writing was never something I did. I didn’t give myself the ability or the desire. He did. So it could never be absent from him.July 10, 2020 at 11:57 am #115950
Y’all, that was so elegant! 😄 Mine was short but from the heart. 😉
The first story I can remember was three chapters long, with huge kindergarten handwriting. It was called The Teres of the Man… 😐 *face palm* I was so proud of it, and it included illustrations!! 😃
I think fiction impacts me more than other stuff. If the characters are relatable, it seems like they’re my friends. When they make choices in stories, feel the consequences, and react to them, they feel like real people.
And when an author can weave themes into the story, you learn things from it, like watching a movie. You can glorify God in everything you do!
Good question, Anna!
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.July 10, 2020 at 9:42 pm #116007
Amen, amen, and AMEN, sister!!
Sometimes I lose sight of the end goal too. But keep praying and reading His Word to guide you! (It’s something that I’m working on this summer 🙂
Here’s something my mom told me: she said glorifying God doesn’t just mean writing explicitly Christian stories (Something Josiah DeGraaf wrote about; have you read his article?) Stories can glorify God when they point back to what is good, when characters don’t get away with evil, and good always wins in the end (though it can come at a cost.)
It’s so true that storytelling is a gift from God; thank-you so much for sharing your own personal story. It was very uplifting and encouraging!
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest HemingwayJuly 10, 2020 at 9:46 pm #116008
I loved your personal testimony! Thanks so much for sharing it! The best ones are the ones that come straight from the heart.
Haha! I was so proud of my first story too (and I did include some illustrations that make me cringe; I wasn’t the best artist then, and probably still so XD.) Funny story, I also remembered writing a short story when I was nine; it was a fairytale and I said all the people loved the king because he gave them low taxes *face palm*. I should run for presidency XD
What was the premise for your first story?
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest HemingwayJuly 10, 2020 at 9:56 pm #116010
My first “chapter” story had three chapters too! It was called Molly and Holidays, and it followed little Molly’s adventures with her brothers around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years before ending abruptly, haha. It had no plot or point, but I was so happy with it I showed it to everyone to read.
When do you think your stories shifted from the little fluff-fantasies we write as children into something a bit more serious, or at least more planned?July 10, 2020 at 9:59 pm #116011
It’s something I’m working on too. Thanks for the encouragement! I really needed it 🙂
Wise words 🙂 Yes, I’ve read it–and I agree completely!July 11, 2020 at 12:08 am #116015
Yes, I was so excited to show people my story! 😂
I think I was in the 8-10 range when I started plotting my ideas. That never worked out well, but I at least tried to incorporate themes. 😊
What about you?
Same to you! 😉
Funny story, I also remembered writing a short story when I was nine; it was a fairytale and I said all the people loved the king because he gave them low taxes *face palm*. I should run for presidency XD
You should run for the presidency–lower the taxes and the people will love you!! 😜
The Teres (which is a cave if you didn’t know…I’m jk) of the Man was about three animals: Wanna the horse, Carrie the anteater, and Joe the frog. 😐 Joe is captured by the Man, so Wanna and Carrie have to rescue him.
From the prologue: He was a mean man who didn’t love God! But his heart will change soon!
*multiple face palms*
Well, no one’s perfect, right? 🙃
Those stories are always the most fun to read again, though! My favorite part was always writing the title, choosing the fonts (once I started using an old computer), and writing my name. And, of course, the “chapter one”. Underneath that was a blank page. Always… 😋
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.July 11, 2020 at 10:19 am #116022Arindown (Gracie)@arindown
This looks really cool. Ya’ll have such cute first stories.😂
I first started writing because I liked it. When I got older I wrote because I needed it. Now, I write because it’s part of me.
One of my favorite things (if favorite things are possible) about God is how creative He is. His art (nature) and His massive redemptive story. I like to say I write and draw because, just as every one of my characters has a small part of me in them, I reflect Him by copying what He did first.
I also write because I love beauty, and stories, to me, are beautiful.
What was the premise for your first story?
I can’t even remember what my “first” story was. I’ve been telling stories ever since I was tiny. My first written story was about a boy named Ben (which I spelled Bin the whole time😝) who tamed a wild Chestnut stallion. It was very closely based of The Black Stallion, which I loved as a kid.
Looking back, all my stories as a little kid were closely based off the books I read…especially Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, Little House on the Prairie, and then all the Westerns we used to watch.
When do you think your stories shifted from the little fluff-fantasies we write as children into something a bit more serious, or at least more planned?
Just in the past couple years, my stories have become deeper. I like to think that I never lost the innocence of my little-kid stories (or at least I’m trying not to). Even in the darkness, I feel my calling is to shine the pure light of stories and characters who haven’t been pulled in by the shadows. I know everyone is a sinner, but there’s magic in looking at the world like a kid does…seeing the beauty and light more then the darkness. That’s what I strive for, at least.
Not all those who wander are lost.July 11, 2020 at 10:48 am #116024
I think I was about 12 when I actually started planning out my stories, but it wasn’t really until I was 14 that they started to shift away from that fairy-tale aura into something more serious.
I like to think that I never lost the innocence of my little-kid stories (or at least I’m trying not to).
I completely understand! That innocence is so pure and touching. I still try to aim for it myself, more so in particular stories. For example, one of my side projects is an account of a little girl who visits with Tomorrow–the figure tasked to hand each person their tomorrows. It’s narrated by the child’s adopted father, so it’s a bit more mature in that respect, but it still has a remnant of that delightful fairy-tale experience that I love to read in George MacDonald’s works especially.
Looking back, all my stories as a little kid were closely based off the books I read
We all imitate somewhere 🙂 It’s actually really fun to do purposefully, too! A lot of my older stories were essentially imitations of MG books I’d read (also The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, even Hardy Boys), but with a fantasy twist–or I even wrote some fairy-tale remakes.
I like to say I write and draw because, just as every one of my characters has a small part of me in them, I reflect Him by copying what He did first.
Beautiful!July 11, 2020 at 6:11 pm #116062
Thanks so much for asking the question on why we write, Anna. I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories. It was very encouraging. (btw, my name is Lily)
@a_nna wrote: “When do you think your stories shifted from the little fluff-fantasies we write as children into something a bit more serious, or at least more planned?”
I’d say it started when I was going from middle-grade into high school. I was learning the concept of outlining stories, and had started reading books by Elizabeth George Speare. I remember being amazed at how she could draw on the reader’s emotions and create compelling, deep stories. I knew that I wanted to learn how to do that.
Poor Joe!! I hope he was safely rescued 😉
I remember using an old computer too! Playing with fonts was so much fun! *Not that I still do that from time to time…* *cough cough*
Oh man, I loved the Boxcar Children series as a kid; that and horses! (Though we never had one of our own). I used to write stories based off that series (and a few other books like Narnia XD)
And hey, people are doing cool (or weird) alternate spellings of common names for characters. So maybe ‘Bin’ would actually fit in 🙂
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest HemingwayJuly 11, 2020 at 7:45 pm #116071
You know what, I have no clue if he did or not–I never finished it! 😆 I don’t think I was cruel enough to have anything bad happen to him, though. 😂
Fonts are just so fun! 😛 And it’s the best seeing your name on the cover page, even if it’s not published. It makes you feel so good about yourself! 😝
Can you remember you first story? If so, please elaborate…😋
I agree with y’all about trying to keep little-kid innocence in stories, but I also think something that draws me to reading and writing is the realism that great authors can portray. I think that when you see the good, the bad, and the ugly (just not too ugly) it brings a story to life.
Not that you weren’t saying that, I just wanted to sound super philosophical. 😜😜 I’m kidding.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.July 11, 2020 at 8:24 pm #116072
Hey, it worked :b (I really should learn how to use the forum emojis… all I can manage is the smiley face, haha)
I think the best way an author can do all of this (innocence, realism, the good, the bad, and the ugly) is to really grasp who their characters are as people and reveal that to the reader. The reader should come away from the story knowing what truths are true for each character, what motivates and inspires them, what they find fault in. A child character might believe that everything will turn out in the end of the conflict. An older character might foresee a darker ending, but the reader will know how they reasoned this. One example I find interesting is Brandon Sanderson’s characters in the Stormlight Archive. One character, Jasnah, is an atheist, while another, Shallan, is a devout believer in one of the fictional world’s religions. They have a few different discussions about their beliefs, each character arguing on behalf of their convictions, and at no one point does the reader feel the author’s bias. Vorinism is truth for Shallan and atheism is truth for Jasnah. Their convictions about this, their reasoning behind it all, makes them feel just a bit more real… So, in a roundabout way, we best keep the fairy-tale quality of innocence in stories by making that truth for one (or perhaps many) of the characters, but make it feel real by balancing it with others whose truths are different. At least, that’s how I try to do it within my own writing, though I definitely don’t always meet the mark.
Thanks for responding and adding to the discussion! 🙂
I’ve never read anything by Elizabeth George Speare, but I also do remember reading books, feeling deeply touched by them, and wanting to be able to create something similar. Like crying while reading Little Women (I still do that!). Often, though, that would end up in a very angsty story, the only purpose of which was to elicit an emotional reaction xD
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.