As part of the Teachers Write 2013 workshop, co-host and young adult fiction author Jo Knowles asked on her blog why writing is important to us. The simple one sentence answer for me is that when I write I feel like my inner voice is released–the one that is free to explore ideas, places, and people–not the one suppressed by performing the daily responsibilities of housework, kids, and financial management.
I believe that tapping that inner voice honors God because he’s given me both difficult and wonderful experiences and an ability to communicate them to others. So I feel it’s my responsibility to do something with that. I won’t pretend that I don’t get joy out of those moments when my writing entertains my family or my friends. Further, I’d be flat-out lying if I didn’t admit that I like it when my writing helps to educate people.
More specifically, my current project (a short story of how I met my wife) is important to me because it’s unique and reveals something critical about us that continues to shape our marriage in beautiful ways. It’s an idea I’ve shared with friends and family in conversation and I continue to get encouragement to turn it into a story.
In business, entrepreneurs and folks who seek loans from banks for ventures must answer this “Why is it important?” question all the time in marketing and project plans. However, I honestly never thought to answer this question as a writer. I encourage you to try this exercise if you’re in the early stages of a piece or stuck. It could help to focus you on your motivation and purpose, if not our intended audience.