When I’m asked why I love to write, I always pause for a moment before responding. The simple answer is because I love it. I feel alive and I get a rush of energy when I do. The more complex answer is because I love telling a story. Furthermore, I love choosing the words that convey the message of the story to my readers in such a way that I strike a chord with them. There’s no better feeling than knowing a reader can sit up and say “Oh my gosh, yes!” after reading my work. Okay, maybe that is a little too deep, but it’s the truth.
If I rewind back to February 2003 during my junior year of college, there was a bitter cold evening when I was seated in an uncomfortable plastic chair in the student center ballroom listening to the president of the university speak. There’s no doubt that plenty of the audience, which was comprised mostly of students, had other things on their minds that I’m sure ranged from that evening’s frat party to impending midterms in the coming weeks. However, his speech was so eloquently constructed; the structure of his prose, the subtle parallelism of his metaphors had everyone’s attention. I realized then how powerful words could be. Anyone can write – a speech, an article, a poem, a novel, but it takes real talent and passion to assemble words to truly reach your audience.
Since that night, I’ve paid more attention to how messages – of all kinds – are conveyed. I’m a student of communication. Writers, speakers, broadcasters, professors, family, friends, acquaintances. I read and listen. What pulls me in? What makes me relate to their story?
Like most students, I have my favorite role models. Most recently, Emily Giffin has struck a chord with me in her latest novel, The One and Only.
“I know it’s not the win itself, but everything that went into the victory. The effort. The passion. The faith. The things that Coach Clive Carr has taught me to believe in. The things that endure in defeat, and even death. The things that make football like life—and life like a game of football.”
The last few sentences of her book made me sit up and say, “Oh my gosh, yes!” I can only hope that one day my writing will do the same for a reader.
Originally published on Goodreads.