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Here's a video from Derek Doepker on the importance of identifying your purpose for writing. (Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to insert the video, so here's the link instead).

 

Toward the end, he issues the challenge of sharing a little of your why, and this is something I'd like to do here (once I've figured it out). Anyone else keen to join this challenge?

Edited by Claire Tucker
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This may sound strange, but my purpose has been Christian apologetics. I want to write to fix deep-rooted misconceptions about our faith and answer some very deep theological question lots of people have about our faith. 

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I started writing because I had read a lot and was disappointed in the watered-down morals I found in books. I write to share the Gospel and put my characters in tough situations Christians face in real life. But most of all, I want to write to glorify God.

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I'm like anyone who has a talent and enjoys expressing it, as God would desire.

 

That said, I can't give you a logical explanation as to why I love to write, or why I enjoy writing in my chosen genre(s). Why do I love the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun," and am not very fond of "Hey Jude." HUH? How can I like a song that didn't crack their top-50 better than their biggest, number one hit?

 

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Maybe it’s just the way God made me.   

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I have always written on and off throughout my life. 

 

I was quite a shy child and not didn't excel at school so I writing was something that teacher spotted me doing and encouraged me to develop. That gave me confidence.  As I grew older I realise it could be used to explore issues about life or simply an 'emotional bolthole' to bunker down into when life got tough.

 

Now, I write because I want people to read my work and think about things in it.

All a bit egotistic really.

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Here's a first go at mine (I have a feeling that this is more the "surface answer" than the real reason):

 

I see stories in much the same light as parables - vehicles in which a deeper truth about the Kingdom of God is carried. So then my "why" is to write stories that carry a deeper truth about God, life, and the spiritual realm, and to seek out those truths in writing the stories. 

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When I wrote the short story that ended up being my Montana book, it was for a creative writing class assignment. I wrote it out of the pain of a personal experience. When I turned the short story into a book, it became a story of redemption for both parties.

 

My children's stories usually follow the path of accepting differences, regardless of which kind of differences they are.

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Solomon's answer was:

 

Quote

4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:4)

 

Personally, I'm vain enough to think I have a better motive than vanity. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was read. Drove my father crazy. He was always confiscating my books until I was done with my chores. We had horses, a llama, ducks, geese, chickens, scores of acres of fields to cut, a horsebarn to build... Yeah, I loved to read. I so admired those writers because of the pleasure that they gave me from reading that of course that is what I wanted to do! Maybe I envied them, but most of all I treasured what they could do with words.

 

I write because I want to understand what is important in life.

 

  - What are the most important questions?

  - What should I value in life?

  - Where should I start?

  - What should my goal be?

  - How do I overcome all obstacles?

  - Who will help me?

  - After I know all that, can I help anyone else?

 

Though it was not obvious to me at first, I am systematically going down that list, researching each of those questions and the others that they spawned, and writing what I have learned, sometimes as fiction, sometimes as fact.

 

However, why I started writing is not the most important question. The most important question is why haven't I given up? It is because of those rare moments when something I had stumbled over in confusion or passed over in ignorance grabs my attention and I am given understanding. That is when I know that I am doing something right and good. I write for gratitude and because I long for the next mystery that God will reveal.

 

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At first, I wrote because I couldn't not write. Characters would just come barreling out of my subconscious and run laps in my brain and playact their scenes until I would write it down. Only then would they be quiet. 😅

 

I suppose I've gotten better at controlling them, or maybe I'm just more tired and busy nowadays so I'm distracted from their antics - they were at their most crazed in late high school and early college.

 

And I've learned, too, over time, that any old story won't do. Sometimes the characters (ie, my human brain) don't know what story is best to tell. Because my ability to write, I have learned, is a gift from God, and one He wants me to use wisely and for His glory. So, I suppose my reason for writing has changed. Now I write for Him.

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My cryptic why:

 

Revelation 12:12

"Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

he knows that his time is short

Yes, and our time is short, too. 

 

Quote

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 ESV)

 

 

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I didn't really like English class in school, but I liked to read. Writing allows me to throw out that creative side and express myself in ways maybe I can't in real life. 

 

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Listened to part of the video. One thing resonated: ranting and raving. Ranting is seeing something you hate in another book and saying, "I can do that better." Raving is seeing something great and wanting to imitate or extend it.

 

My first novel was completely driven by ranting and raving. I loved (raved) Dante's Inferno. I hated (ranted against) Dante's Purgatorio. Why? It was about mechanical spiritual exercises leading to perfection - climbing the seven story mountain, overcoming one deadly sin on each level.

 

Spiritual progress comes from faith. In Purgatorio, people know God is real and Heaven awaits. There is no need for faith in mystery. Faith requires uncertainty and trust. My first two novels were my redesign of Purgatory such that people there do not know the full truth yet. They do not yet know which is the true religion and path. I added a place for faith.

 

I also took the climactic scene from Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea which was interesting but theologically wrong and used it as the climactic scene in my second novel, turning it around. My hero had to make the opposite decision as Ged in Earthsea in order to find healing: instead of embracing his darkness to try to give light to it, he had to reject that darkness and suffer a kind of death.

 

And as for the grand finale of my second novel - I took an entire religious movement - Universalism - and pretended it was real, until the hero was forced to deal with its flaws and change.

 

So the most important features of my early novels were ideas I got from other writers and disagreed with viscerally, then turned them around.

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1 hour ago, paulchernoch said:

So the most important features of my early novels were ideas I got from other writers and disagreed with viscerally, then turned them around.

That sounds really cool, and your stories sound really cool!

 

The WIP that I've just finished started in a similar way. As a child, it seemed that the trope of a princess trapped in a tower by a dragon and needing rescueing by a brave knight was often referred to... But the story didn't seem to exist (or at least I never found it). In writing draft 1, I realized that I really don't like romance as a genre (not enough to rant about, but it's not something I choose), so I changed the story. 

 

It's always interesting how what we agree and disagree with (or spot as missing or lacking) influences our stories. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/11/2020 at 3:44 PM, zx1ninja said:

Mine sounds cliche even to me. Because of a dream that would recure and bother me until I started writing it down. 

I started and (actually finished) NanoWrimo a few years back with a story that started like this.... I had the same/similar dream thread that as I started falling asleep I could even choose to step into the dream and continue it each night. Was pretty cool and a bit weird, but also a lot of fun to be able to be in so much 'Control' of a dream. 

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Its so interesting how there are so many different answers. I love how God has wired and motivated us all in different ways. For me, at least part of the reason I write is because I'm drawn to the power and beauty of words. Not just in writing, but in all my other artistic endeavors as well I've noticed that a well placed word/quote/story etc. have the ability to really impact people at the heart level. 

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