Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Mental Snack (20)


Share your thoughts...

"I don't think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories--of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate. Think about it: Ants don't do it. Tress don't. Not even thoroughbred horses, mountain elk, house cats, grass, or rocks do it. Writing is a uniquely human activity. It might even be built into our DNA. It should be put forward in the Declaration of Independence, along with the other inalienable rights: 'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--and writing.' " ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Feeling the Writer Within

Why are your stories important, dear reader? Why should the world listen to them? What makes your voice special from the rest?

34 comments:

INSIDE THE SHRINK said...

As a Chritian non-fiction writer I believe my works are important as they encourage and challenge people to personal and spiritual growth. The world is getting more and more difficult and people are looking for answers. I believe I have the spiritual wisdom to provide a unique and interesting read. God bless.

Vatche said...

That's a very good reason for writing. I could agree that the world is getting more and more difficult and that people are looking for answers. Your writing could perhaps be the answers that these people are looking for. I will definitely read your blogs and see if I can find some answers of my own. Write on and God bless!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hm, tricky--but excellent question. I suppose they're important because I love them. Because they want to be told. Because they heal me. Hopefully someday others will find them important, too.

Vatche said...

Hey, Carolina (cool name btw), I'm glad to see that you've become a follower on my blog, so I've returned the favor. Thank you.

As for the the questions for this week's Mental Snack, they are considered very tricky for any writer, professional or otherwise, to answer.

I'm glad to hear your answers though. Your love for your stories hopefully will carry into your reader's minds and hearts and heal your readers the same way that they heal you.

I'm sure your stories are important to many today, you have 400+ followers, and I'm sure all of 'em enjoy your writing! So, write on!

Piedmont Writer said...

I love Natalie Goldberg, she's one of my absolute favorite writing people.

Why are my words important -- because they're mine. I'm the only one who can tell my story, the only one who can write the way I do. I'll never be an astronaut or Martha Stewart or even the Prom queen, but with my words (someday) in a book, I can have a piece of living history. I will always have an ISBN number. It's also something to leave my daughter when I'm dead. (Which hopefully won't be for a very long time.)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think my idea is pretty original and yet has enough in common with popular trend to interest most young adults. Once into it, its the ultimate escape- which is what reading, for me, is all about. Hard question though. I don't like to think of my story as better than the rest. just different. LIke choosing between chicken and beef or apples and oranges.

Shadow said...

what an interesting question you pose. why do we write... hmmmmmm, personally, i'd have to say it started off by helping me to clarify my thoughts. sort through the jumble that's in my head. for once its written, and i read it back, i somehow knew which were insane mumblings, and which were the ones i should be listening to... and then of course there's that need to tell a story. let your mind drift in a dreamworld of your own creation. which in turn is relaxing and actually a huge amount of fun...

Elisabeth said...

Hi Vachte

I'll add a quote here by Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own in response to your questions:
So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery, and the sacrifice of wealth and chastity which used to be said to be the greatest of human disasters, a mere flea-bite in comparison.

To me that says it all. Our words matter.

Vatche said...

Hey, Elisabeth, and what a beautiful way of saying it by using Virgina Woolf's words. A great answer, I must say. Of course, our words matter. Write on "for ages or only for hours", just as much as you can really!

Vatche said...

Hey, Shadow, it is a very interesting question, because it's a question a writer should ask himself/herself everyday of his/her career. I love the words you use when you say, "Let your mind drift in a dreamworld of your own creation. Which in turn is relaxing and actually a huge amount of fun..." I think we can all relate to that. Writing is fun and a way of escape, which is why we all can relate. Awesome answer!

Vatche said...

Interesting thoughts, Creepy Query Girl. Very interesting...hmmm...You're a very modest person, I can tell by your writing. I think most of us here can agree that reading is an escape and we write to offer that escape to our own readers. I hope your stories become great successes. Great analogies and thoughts.

Vatche said...

A different approach to the question from the rest of the commentators, Piedmont Writer. You want to leave a piece of history behind, your mark on the world. I can vouch for that. Definitely. Keep writing and make history with your words. Write on!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. My stories are important to me but I'd like my words to touch others too. To create something that others can enjoy, make people feel something. And to get the stories out of my head. It gets a bit crowded in there sometimes. lol.

Amber Lynae said...

My writing is a piece of me. It is my way of infusing myself into the world. Whether people should read them or not. I don't know. Obviously my words are not earth shattering. They are just stories of growth and discovery.

I think by writing we are able to understand things within ourselves that we might otherwise never have learned. That is why I write.

Vatche said...

Oh, Lindsay, I know what you feel when you say it is crowded in your mind. My mind is full of voices...too many to count. It's cool that you want to touch others with your writing, I hope to have the same effect on people, too. Thank you for your wonderful comments and write on!

Vatche said...

Hey, Amber! Awesome thoughts, really just awesome. I believe that, too, that we write to find something in ourselves that we never knew was there...another voice, another person, determination, humor, etc. I'm sure your words, one day, will be earth shattering. Write on, Amber!

Carolyn V. said...

Oh excellent post and great questions! A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a group of writers who wondered why they had such a strong desire to have their words in the public eye. I don't think it was to be the next great novel. But I do think deep down, after writing things close to our hearts, we want to share. We want to connect with others. I hope my book will be one that will connect with others and that it may make a difference in someones life. That would be sweet!

Vatche said...

Hey, Carolyn, glad to see your comment here! I think we, every commentator so far, have said that we just want to share our own stories with the world, because we want to connect to the world and the world to connect to us.

Writing is our reason for living, to show that we make a difference. Yes, I also agree that it would be sweet...and awesome. Thank you for your kind words! :)

Amparo Ortiz said...

Brilliant post, man.

To be honest, I don't know why my stories are special other than the fact that I alone can write them. Every writer's story is special because they weave the words in ways nobody else can. Whether we teach a moral or deal with a touchy subject, I think that's just icing on the cake--a very tasty icing, mind you. Story and voice go hand in hand, and both are the reasons behind the specialness of your words.

At least, to me.

Vatche said...

Thank you, Amparo, for your thoughts. As for not knowing why your stories are special other than because you're writing them, I believe that makes them special enough. You're giving the characters a voice, you're telling a story no one can, and that's what makes it special. Write on!

Jemi Fraser said...

Good question. I think stories are an important part of human cultures. We tell stories to explore our emotions, our relationships and ourselves. Everyone sees things differently, everyone has their own take. So, in that vein, every story's important :)

Amanda Sablan said...

Thank you for following my blog! I hope I don't disappoint. :)

I like to think my voice is special because it's CRAZY! I'm just not afraid to be (at times shockingly) different. If you were to read my story, you would come out of it with a different perspective on something.

Vatche said...

Hey, Jemi, thank you for following my blog!

You're right, stories are a big part of human culture, since it was a form of communication back before Jesus Christ was even born and it was a way of keeping history down in the books such as cave drawings, hieroglyphics, etc.

As for everyone sees things differently, you couldn't be more correct. That is why some people are disappointed when a book is turned into a movie and they watch the movie to see that it is not how they perceived it at all.

Every story is important! Every story is a part of human culture, even your story and mine!

Write on, Jemi!

Vatche said...

Hey, Amanda! It was no problemo following your blog, it seemed very interesting.

Btw, I really liked your icon. Do you watch the Fullmetal Alchemist anime or read the manga or did you just happen to like the picture and pick up as your own? Because that character is from the Fullmetal Alchemist series.

I love crazy voices and hope to hear a lot of "out of the box" comments from you. I love people who are different, because they provide a new angle to some things. I will definitely read your story in the near future. Write on!

Terresa said...

I adored Natalie Goldberg, she is a master writer and teacher. My dream is to attend one of her writing workshops in NM (someday...).

I also enjoyed reading Elizabeth's Woolf quote.

I once heard someone (a big name literary agent) say that all of the books have already been written. I don't agree. I think there are stories left untold, stories that will rock the world to it's knees. Stories that you & I & other writers, given enough time and experience, can and will write.

Write on!!

Owning the Words said...

Hello and thank you for joining my blog!

Interesting post and I don't think my stories are of great importance to the masses. Writing for me is merely an outlet of expression. I have always written stories and poetry. I come to accept it as an integral part of me. I enjoy the endless play of words and imagery. If I only have an audience of one I am eternally grateful. I get agitated when people say everything that has been written is, there's nothing new under the sun. I disagree. We have a universe filled with undiscovered paths. Once we get out of that 'everything has been done before' mindset then we can open ourselves up to something rich.

If I never write again for whatever reason, I know that I am a breathing book. The title bears my name, my journeys tell my story. The thing that matters most to me is when He scribes the end of my story and shelves me in His library what will my pages say about me.

Sorry for rambling. Great post :)

Vatche said...

Bonjour (got tired of saying "hello" and "hey"), Terresa! I'm starting to really enjoy Natalie Goldberg's writing since I started reading her book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.

Wow, I didn't know she had a writer's workshop still going on...I'll definitely Google that and check it out.

As for the idea that every story has been told, I don't believe that to be a fact at all. I have stories people have never heard of in my mind and written down, though they deliver familiar concepts, they are not the same as other books. This is why I don't compare my books to anything or even give the book that I'm writing a genre, because it has a bunch of genres in it and not one specific one.

As always, write on!!!

Vatche said...

Hey, Owning the Words (cool name btw)! No problemo on joining your blog. It looked really cool, so no "thank you" is necessary! :)

I'm sure your writing, poetry and prose, are all awesome; I will try reading some of your work over the weekend. And if you have no one else, you'll have at least have me. :D

As for the idea that everything has been done before, I believe that to be a lie, because I know a bunch of stories from myself and other writers that haven't been said yet. They probably have familiar themes, but these stories have yet to see the light of day.

As for when you say, "If I never write again for whatever reason, I know that I am a breathing book. The title bears my name, my journeys tell my story. The thing that matters most to me is when He scribes the end of my story and shelves me in His library what will my pages say about me," it is very true. All writers are breathing books, actually all people are living books. We all have stories to tell, every single living thing has a story; we just have to listen.

Do not worry, you're most definitely not rambling! You are providing us with a Mental Snack, your two cents (or thoughts) on the quote. So, write on!

Amanda Sablan said...

I will keep writing! You'd have to kill me to get me to stop. ; ]

And I adore FMA! It's one of my favorite anime shows, and Riza Hawkeye one of my favorite characters. Women with guns are freakin' sexy (I say this as a straight woman)!

Vatche said...

Lol, Amanda. I won't even tempt you to stop writing. :)

I'm glad to have found someone else who adores anime much like myself. Hawkeye is one of my favorite characters also, next to Black Hayato, her dog. I like her character not only because of her awesome skills with guns, but also because of her deep loyalty with Roy Mustang.

Thank you for responding back to my question! :D

Amanda Sablan said...

I almost missed it, to tell you the truth.

Yeah, I've been watching anime for about six years now, since seventh grade. A lot of what I watch informs my writing.

Vatche said...

A lot of the anime I watch, too, effects my writing.

Are you watching FMA: Brotherhood right now?

Amanda Sablan said...

Ehh, I watched the first couple episodes, but I couldn't get into it. The original series was better, and I wish Brotherhood was a continuation and not a retelling.

Vatche said...

Actually, I'm enjoying Brotherhood better than the original, because it is not really a retelling, but it follows the manga more. I suggest you check it out again, I'm sure that if you give it a chance, you'll enjoy it. :)

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