Why We Write

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Tonight I’m writing about stories, instead of writing a story.

Well, kind of.

I was asked by my younger son’s teacher to share a lesson on creative writing. For a class of friendly 4th graders I’ve watched sprout up like spring flowers from kindergarten.

I simplified the idea of story and creative writing for the younger set and prepared a fun writing activity, keeping in mind they’re nine and ten.

Why do we Write Stories?

  1. To tell others about something that happened
  2. To create something new with words, using the imagination God gave us
  3. To entertain others
  4. To bring glory to God with words

What’s in a Story?

  1. Characters–who the story is about
  2. Setting–where the story takes place
  3. Action–what happens in the story

Use the five senses in your story:

  1. Touch—Cold, hot, slimy
  2. Taste—bitter, sweet, scalding
  3. Sight—bright, dark, shining,
  4. Smell—stinky, delicious, musty
  5. Hearing—loud, quiet, squeaky

Even writing about writing, the pull toward words and what they make when they’re strung together just so is overwhelming. Beauty and truth in little nuggets of sound and sight that speak to others.

Words. Oh, how we writers love them. (Just not too many of them.)

So…why do we write stories?

Is it for that pull, that sense of creating something from nothing, bringing life to our imagination and giving God’s grace words and wings? Yes.

Not really for this reason, though it’s very true.

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Like many writers out there, I’m in the thick of NaNoWriMo 2015, in which novelists and aspiring novelists set a goal of fifty thousand words (or 50k, as we writers lovingly refer to it) during the month of November.

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It’s grueling and exhilarating all at once.

So…why do we write these stories?

A quick search online brings up a number of ideas, reasons, thoughts on the matter.

  1. To be fully alive. 2. To make a name for ourselves. 3. To change the world. 4. To discover meaning.

Personally, only number one resonates with me from that list, because when I write, I’m doing what God created me to do.

Making a name for myself isn’t the goal, and my meaning comes from my Creator and my relationship with Jesus Christ.

And I’m much more interested in touching a few souls than changing the world.

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Hab. 2:2-3)

So maybe it’s more about this, writers.

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God putting a story–stories, hopefully–or characters inside you, and your heart bursting with the need to get them out, into the world. Something so vivid you have to give it–give them–words and lives.

Yes. That’s it.

That’s why we write.

Keep writing, writers. The world needs your stories.

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1)

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3 thoughts on “Why We Write

  1. WordsasWorship November 12, 2015 at 9:18 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Words as Worship and commented:
    Meet my writing friend, Kerry Johnson, who has a way with words and who loves THE Word. I love this post and had to share!

  2. WordsasWorship November 12, 2015 at 9:19 am Reply

    Love this post, Kerry. You made me want to teach and write. I write to breathe because He is my breath…it really is all about Jesus. Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

  3. BelindaKramer November 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm Reply

    I very much believe that we writers are “God’s little pencil”, as Mother Teresa used to refer to herself. Like you Kerry, I care very little about seeing my name in print. My great thrill is to publicize the beautiful name of Jesus.

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