Is writing important? I posed that question two weeks ago in the post “5 Reasons Writing Is Important to the World.” Obviously, the conclusion I came to (after some sincere soul-searching) was that yes, writing and storytelling is a crucial part of building a better world and encouraging one another in our own quests for Truth. But I wasn’t the only one who came to that conclusion.
So did you guys.
Your response to that post was overwhelming. Personal story after personal story. Affirmation after affirmation. I was uplifted, encouraged, and empowered by the resonant “YES!” of your responses on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and in emails. Today, I want to return to this important subject and share just a few of your great responses, so you can all find inspiration in them.
1. Writing Is Important Because… Life Is Meaningful
Thank you for this post!! It’s such an encouraging confirmation of what I’ve hardly dared hope by someone outside my own mind. I think as human beings, we need to know that our lives are intrinsically meaningful, and story has a beautifully intentional way of reflecting that meaning and purpose, even as it echoes the grander story of our lives at large.
2. Writing Is Important Because… Stories Tell Truths
YES. That’s all I can say. YES. Beautifully said, Katie. This is why I write—besides the wonder itching inside me to be expressed, the knowledge that I have the power to inspire others and satisfy a hunger screaming to be satisfied keeps me going.
Story is truth. Truth is the end of the road for every human being, and so it’s always beautiful—never unneeded, never empty. Truth’s funny that way, you know?
3. Writing Is Important Because… Language Has Many Positive Uses
4. Writing Is Important Because… Children Need Heroes
We read to our children 15 minutes every night before bed. I’ve heard that is one of the best things you can do with your child for development. Characters are great but parents also need to be their “protagonist.” Children imitate what they see in stories and those who are close to them. So when I woke up this morning I was pleased to see a book in my son’s hand. He was sitting peacefully on the couch skimming the pages of the book we read the night before. My other son took two books to daycare with him. One of them being 20,000 Leagues in the Sea…. He’s only 7.
5. Writing Is Important Because… It Reminds Us What’s Important
I am so glad you wrote this. This message is more important than ever. The world tells us to pay attention to the workings of power, as if the latest political developments were the most important things happening. But those things matter only because they affect real people—our little lives are so much bigger than we even know, and stories put us in touch with that. We were made for eternity, and the more confusing things get in the world, the more power struggles dominate our newsfeeds, the more we need to be reminded of what is really significant.
6. Writing Is Important Because… We Need a Sense of Something Greater
7. Writing Is Important Because… Writing Presents the Life Paradigm
As I’ve listened to your series on character arcs over the past week or so, I’ve been really struck by how much story is about Truth vs. Lie. A bit of light bulb for me! That whole realization just clicks so organically (to mix my metaphors) into how I see so many of the issues in life and in the wider world. Writing is a powerful thing.
8. Writing Is Important Because… Quality Craftsmanship Glorifies God
Sure, some people won’t get much out of any given story other than the story being good or bad or “meh.” But there’s a scene in the Book of Exodus where certain artisans are summoned to build the tabernacle. They’re chosen for the fineness of their craftsmanship, the beauty of their work directed to crafting items for the house of God. It’s important to me to be the equivalent of those artisans as a storyteller, where I wrought works in ink and pixels the quality of what they wrought in gold, silver, or bronze. That is why I come here.
9. Writing Is Important Because… Truth Is Worth Revealing
— avery white (@praiseresound) July 25, 2016
10. Writing Is Important Because… the Subtlety of Story Is Powerful
Writing gives us the opportunity to say things that matter to us, and to dress them in allegorical fables that entertain as they argue a point. And the story form allows us a huge degree of subtlety in making that argument. Examples that the reader feels as though they are real. The ability to draw real life experience and the hopes and dreams and lives of real people into a fantasy. If we do it well enough.
11. Writing Is Important Because… It Reveals Ourselves
Yes! Our writing DOES matter. It reflects our inner being, our moral values, and, hopefully, our desire to inspire and encourage others for the good. Keep up the good work!
12. Writing Is Important Because… It Moves the World
13. Writing Is Important Because… Stories Are Arguments
It wasn’t until I saw your post that I really considered this, but I have come to the conclusion that storytelling is important. But if it is, we certainly can’t stop there.
Stories give us truths because they are arguments. There are no bad truths, but there are certainly ineffective arguments.
So how do you make an effective argument in a storytelling medium? I think the answer lies in story theory and general rhetoric, along with critical analysis of other such arguments.
14. Writing Is Important Because… It Is a Reflection of Our World
15. Writing Is Important Because… Sometimes It Saves Us
No matter if I ever do or don’t become an established author, I have to believe that there will always be souls out there in need of mental sanctuary or a hero among the pages of a book. Someone with no other way to discover what hope is, compassion, endurance of spirit, faith in something. No other way of finding inspiration in the face of all adversity to keep hanging on, knowing goodness, integrity, other virtues to be true because they read about it.
Yeah, yeah…I hear the noises about not believing everything you read. But tell that to someone with nothing else to draw strength from yet enough smarts to have a half decent grasp on what’s realistic, what’s not, and a Public Library card in their hand. The ones that derive their own courage from J.R.R. Tolkien or dream of some place beyond the slums because they read Ray Bradbury.
That persistence of wonder some of us experience when leaving the movies, read that last page and close the book… this is what matters though. Even if the rest of this world denies the significance of writing, books, movies, spinning yarns… as you said in this excellent post, keep fighting the good fight. Somebody has to. I’d like to think I am.
Not every story is perfect. Not every story is good. Not every story uplifts, clarifies, or empowers. But the good stories do. And when they do, they move the world. That’s what I want to write. How about you?
Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! How have stories impacted your life—as both a child and an adult—for good? Tell me in the comments!
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