Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Write?

Why write?  Aren’t there more important things to do with your time?

I will admit that I have asked myself this question many times.  As a young person, I have my whole life ahead of me.  The decisions I make now will likely affect the rest of my life, guiding who I become and where I go.  I want my life to have meaning and purpose, to accomplish something.  Ultimately, I want to live a life that glorifies God and honors Him.  I want to be where He wants me and where He will use me. 

So, what is so important about writing? 

I believe that what we read often shapes how we think and who we become.  Growing up, I wanted to become like the heroes I read about.  Of course everyone wants to be a hero and save the world, but it was more than that.  :)  I did not want to just accomplish heroic deeds (though that definitely was a part of it), but I knew that heroic deeds were the result of a character cultivated in peace as well as war.  A hero is not only a hero while slaying the dragon and saving the day.  The heroes I admired possessed the same selfless qualities while tending the farm or watching their sheep, long before the dragon showed up on the scene. 
The Hobbit
I wanted to be like those characters, not only in the moment of danger, but in the rest of my life too.  Aragorn, Frodo and Sam, the four Pevensie children, and a host of others inspired me by their bravery, faithfulness, and hope.  By their willingness to take a stand while the world crumbled around them.  To lead when others fell back.

I find it interesting to note the differing trends in fiction writing.  Forgive me for a rather generalized statement, but I have noticed that books written in the late 1800’s and earlier 1900’s presented main characters who exemplified character qualities including courage, a good work ethic, honesty, integrity, and a determination to do what was right regardless of the consequences.  Sometimes these characters seemed almost too perfect and thereby less believable, more fantasy and less real life.  

However, while modern fiction delights in presenting “realistic” main characters, warts and all, at times, it seems to glorify in the warts more than anything else.  Often, not only are the warts glorified, they are exaggerated and extolled as virtues. 

If it is true that what we read shapes how we think and often who we become, than what we read becomes critically important.

That is why I write.  That is why I think that writing is important. 

There are far too many books available that present twisted and warped views of the world.  No author can write without a bias.  Our worldviews are a part of who we are, bleeding into the story to form the unseen framework and foundation of plot, character, and theme.

Books can have a huge impact.  The very nature of a story provides the opportunity to present either truth or falsehood in a unique and often more accessible form.  Like any tool, writing can be either extremely dangerous or extremely useful.  A sword possesses no power in and of itself, but in the hands of a wielder it can be used for either great good or great harm.

I write first of all because I love to.  I believe that God has gifted me and I want to honor Him with that gift.  But I also write because it offers me a chance to present truth within a compelling story and perhaps impact the reader, in however small a way.

Teens are going to read books.  The question is: what are they going to read?  

6 comments:

  1. I believe you've put into words the things all Christian writers strive for. Fantastic post, and I echo every thing you said.

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  2. This is my heart too-- thanks for sharing that with us, Gil.

    Francis Schaeffer once said, "Whoever controls the media controls the culture."

    And besides it being something that I want to do and can glorify God in, that's why I write, and why I make movies. :)

    Thanks again and Lord bless Gil <3

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  3. Hello *sticks head in under oversized helmet and waves*

    Just found your blog courtesy of the lovely Director/Abby up there, and I think I like it here. You have some great things to say - glad to find a fellow Tolkein fan here too!

    Wise words - hope there's more where that came from!

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  4. Spook, thanks for stopping by! The pleasure is mine! I enjoy meeting fellow wayfarers from Middle Earth.

    Kind of you to say so! I hope so too! :)

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  5. Hey Gil, in case you didn't see my reply comment on my blog: I would love to join your team! How do I go about that??? ;)

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  6. Sweet! If you go to the Enter the Door Within blog it has the directions for entering the contest. Here's the link: http://www.enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com/

    All you have to do is email Mr. Batson (his email is posted on the blog) and note in your email that you want to join my team!

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Love hearing from y'all, so please join the conversation! All I ask is that you keep all comments friendly with the goal of starting enjoyable conversations about fantasy and good books with other novel lovers! Overly negative comments will be banished to the netherworld and the less than pleasant company of the various balrogs, trolls, and monsters already imprisoned there.