Why I write...HOPE.
If you travel to my "About" page you'll get a paragraph about why I write for youth, but there is a greater story that can't be expressed in a biography snap shot or an Instagram post. I write for a number of reason, but the greatest of these, the one that got me started, is hope. And I want to share that journey with you.
Each person is given one life and that life can be used for any number of reasons. Over the years, I have dabbled in many passions- gathering knowledge (a.k.a. way to much school), photography, acting, triathlons, rock climbing and even the somewhat controversial act of reading in excess. Gasp!
Never could I find the right balance between creative enjoyment, personal gratification and productive pursuit. And yes, I felt guilty about spending an entire weekend in a book without anything to show for it. As luxurious as spending time in wonder can be, it was not an activity that felt productive. And I have this horrible flaw of needing to find purpose beyond myself. This is where my exploration of faith and writing came together.
The spotlight in our front yard illuminated through three feet of snow. See? I can't help myself.
I used to be annoyingly optimistic. Almost to a fault. I needed to find the silver lining in all relationships, discover the redeeming quality in every villain, and find light in the darkest of circumstances. I required resolution and an end point that brought about change and growth. I needed hope. And then it clicked. The stories that emulated these qualities never left my head. Instead they percolated and combined and transformed into entirely unique creations. These were the stories I wanted to write. But I had no clue how. And I didn't even understand the greater themes behind the stories. I had not yet learned about a greater hope than anything the world could offer.
Colum McCann wrote a brief paragraph in his book, "Letters to a Young Writer" entitled "The Habit of Hoping". Clearly he wrote it for me as every word resonated directly into the core of my being. I am someone who is addicted to hoping. Even today, despite being slightly more jaded by life, I love finding pursuits that offer glimmers of light. McCann shared that we should "try to create evidence just about anywhere [we] can. " For me this is evidence of joy. Evidence of forgiveness. Evidence of redeeming love. Evidence of an eternal hope. These are the things I want to leave on the page. These are the words I want to share. A combined effort of creative passion, higher pursuit, with a smidgen of my ever increasing hope.
This is why I write.
What makes you pursue your own passions? Do you feel balanced or is something missing? I'd love to hear about your journey either here or through email.
Want to read more about Colum McCann's "Letters to a Young Writer". Head over to Write Now Edits (February 18 onward) to read my full guest blog review.