I recently did an interview with the wonderful Barbara Gruener– counselor and character coach. She raised some interesting questions that I think are worthy of further elaboration.
Do I intentionally weave values or virtues into my work?
Often parents or teachers will tell me that they love the fact that my stories have such “great messages.” I know they mean this as a compliment, and so I ever so gently explain that I actually do not set out to do that when I write. Rather, I think of myself as pointing to some truth, some beauty, some little slice of this world that has amazed me, delighted me, or simply made me marvel at the universe, and then I set out to share that whiff of wonder with my readers.
That marvelous storyteller, John Shea, maintained that one tells a story, “not to educate or indoctrinate, but to illuminate, to enchant the readers into the world of the story, in the hope that when they emerge from the story, they do so, with an enhanced view of the possibilities of their lives.” What a lovely description of….HOPE. Indeed the best stories do give us a healthy dollop of hope – they “enlarge” our vision of the world – as all “passions” should do.
So, although I do not intentionally set out to “weave a value or a virtue” into my stories, a little part of who I am seeps into every story I write. And, as I tell children in schools, a fancy way of saying that is – “the color of your thought dyes your soul.” Marcus Aurelius. And so, the color of my soul dyes every story I write…..all the loves and longings, sorrows and sadnesses, hopes and dreams that made me who I am today, do spill out into my writing. After all, how could that not be so? Writing (good writing) does not just come from the head, but also from the heart and soul, and therefore, it must follow that who we are will be quite evident in the stories we choose to tell and write.
Check out the full interview HERE