George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, wrote in an essay titled Why I Write, “Every line of serious work I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism.”
Do all writers have agendas? Pretty much. One is to make money, if they’re professionals. Other motives include to entertain, to inform and to stir to action.
“Why do we do it, we writers?” Phillip Yancey asks. “I think we do it because each of us has nothing else to offer but a living point of view that differentiates us from every other person on the planet. We must tell our stories to someone.”
I’ve been a storyteller for decades. Some of my stories are fictional, others are autobiographical. My intent is not to draw attention to myself but to stretch the imaginations and intellects of my readers. I want them to see through my eyes for a few minutes, whether the landscape is real or make believe.
Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head. – Malcolm Gladwell
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone has stories to tell. Everyone has “a living point of view that differentiates us from every other person on the planet.” But how do you tell your stories if you’re not a writer?
Share your life. Open up on some level. About some things. To some people. As Captain Picard says, “Engage!”
Another famous explorer said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” To which I would add, “The unshared life is not fully lived.”