On Writing Things That Matter

It’s hard as a writer, being surrounded by so many awesome, poignant books that look at all aspects of human life and frailty and virtues, all of the philosophical things that matter. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never write something that beautiful, or that important.

But then I have to remind myself, that no matter what I write, it is important.

And if I go into a project intending to write about the self actualization that comes from belonging to someone  (or someones) or something, or about the inevitability of death or about the nature of poverty in all of its forms, I will fail. All I can do is start with characters, and then let those characters tell me a story.

And more often than not, if I let the characters lead my story, those themes will work their way in, and they won’t be forced. And even if my stories don’t come out as deep and poetic as I might hope for them to be, if I can touch just one person then I’ve done what I set out to do. Just like characters give me a story worth telling, readers give stories meaning worth interpreting.

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