Knowing Your Why

Why we do something is as important as knowing how to do it if we’re ever going to finish.

Starting a project is exciting, like falling in love. When I start something new, all kinds of possibilities spin through my mind.

I can almost see the novel completed, the story racing in front of me like a movie shown at twenty times the normal speed. Faces jump into my mind’s eye, as if I’ve met the characters somewhere.

Then it’s time to write. The characters don’t do what I want them to do. Or they talk to their friends like they are delivering a lecture. Sometimes they come across as just plain unlikeable people.

That’s real problem when I think that of my heroine.

The frustrating, I want to throw the computer out the window times are the times when it’s most important to know why you write.

What is My Why?

I’ve thought about that for myself. Why is it I haven’t given up on the novel I’ve been working on for nearly four years? What keeps me going?

One reason is I have a hard time giving up on anything. Quitting, cutting my losses, I’m just not that good at those things.

But what keeps me coming back?

Part of it is my love of literature and my desire to create books that are the kind I love to read. The longer I keep working on my novel, I gain an appreciation of the novelist’s craft.

Another reason is to infuse my works with my own worldview. I’ve been disturbed by some novels I’ve read. Not that I don’t agree with the choices of the characters, or that they hold a worldview antithetical to my own.

But that after reading the novel I am subtly seduced in to wanting to embrace that way of thinking.

A good example of this from film is the Nicole Kidman movie “To Die For.” In this film, she plays a teacher who seduces on of her students and convinces him to murder her husband.

The husband wasn’t abusive or a drunk. She’d just gotten tired of him and wanted someone else.

Halfway through the movie, I realized to my horror that I was hoping that her plot would succeed.

Such is the power of a story. I found myself wanting a murder to succeed.

That’s not why I want to write.

Why? To Share a Worldview

So, in my own way, following the footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis, I’d like to infuse my stories with the Christian worldview.

Not to be overtly Christian necessary, with all the trappings of the “Christian fiction” genre, however it’s defined.

But to celebrate Christian values and show how they influence society for the better. To write stories that inspire to people to be better than they are. Or to help readers get a glimpse of themselves and how they relate to others, and how they can influence others for good.

That’s why I write.

What about you? What’s your why?



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