What I Wanted To Say

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A few days ago,  I was in the car with my uncle and we were talking about what I’m going to be doing after graduation. 

As an English major, I get this question a lot: what are you going to do with your degree? And guess what. I don’t have a special, all perfect, all knowing answer to it. 

I ended up talking about my dreams about where I want to end up in my career, or at least one of the many places I want to end up in my career. And that is publishing and writing stories. 

When the topic of stories came up, he asked a really good question: what do people get out of reading stories? What do they learn? What is the benefit for them?

And right there at that moment, I got a little tongue-tied. Typical. (for me anyway).

As I stumbled through trying to explain why I wanted to write stories and what their impact is, I started asking myself, what really is the point of writing and storytelling. Why are stories important and how do they impact people? 

So here I am, doing what I do best: going back and writing what I wanted to say.

I think a person gains knowledge, purpose, and understanding when they read stories. 

Well written, well-crafted stories, have an edge to them. They stand out and make a difference. When a story is well written, it is centered around a fundamental truth that can only be learned by living. It’s not there to just entertain, it’s there to give the reader a new set of eyes to be able to view things differently; it’s there to teach the things that are true and right, it’s there to make an impact, to serve a purpose, to have meaning and justification. To change someone. 

Stories give you, as a person, a scope to pull from, an experience to live that you can’t always live yourself. As a singular human being, it’s hard to view things from all vantage points, but with a well-written story, you are able to see and feel and taste and touch and hear what it’s like to be in someone else shoes. And I think this is important, very important. 

In a world where there is a lot of polarization, the more we share each other’s stories and learn what one another is going through, the more we’re able to love one another and build a strong community, country, and world.

In a world where there is a lot of polarization, the more we share each other’s stories and learn what one another is going through, the more we’re able to love one another and build a strong community, country, and world.

Being a part of the community that writes and creates narrative gives my creative yearn meaning and purpose. In her book, Walking on Water, Madeline L’Engle writes: “But unless we are creators, we are not fully alive.” If I don’t create, if I don’t write, I feel like I lose apart of myself and there is a void.  As a writer, I know this to be true. Creating stories is how I fill the void and the need to express, and the act of creating them for people to be connected and grow closer to the ever needed love, awareness, and acceptance gives me a reason to write them.

Madeline L’Engle also writes: “When we are writing or painting or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions and opened to a wider world, where colours are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.”

I find this true, and in a piece of writing that is well crafted — using it’s decisions and choices in craft wisely and purposefully — the writer is able to share that freedom to the wider world more with the reader themselves.

This is why I want to write stories and learn to write them well. And although it may not be like the engineering field, the medical field, or the business field (those are all respectable and important areas of world and I admire the people that go into them), but the writing field is what I want to go into — among the many other things I want to do — because it is there that I find my purpose, it is there that I am fully alive, and it is there that I can write a story that gives other’s purpose, truth, and life.

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