Whoops! Didn’t mean to go incommunicado there, but sometimes that’s just how the kibbles roll, you know?
Anyway, I’m back from the holiday, and I’ve been thinking a lot. About family. About hard work. About writing, of course. And last night in the shower, I realized something.
It’s very important to me that I write 1 of 2 kinds of books: either a story that I really want to read, or a story that I really think the world needs.
My guess is that most (if not all) “good” books fit into 1 of those 2 categories. I think Stephenie Meyer, for example, really wanted to read a book about all-consuming love. So she wrote one. And it resonated with people.
And I bet — well, we know — that Suzanne Collins thought the world really needed a book about war and its effects on everyone, even those not directly/willingly involved. So she wrote one. And it resonated with people.
Jodi Picoult is another great example of someone who (I believe) has made a career out of writing books that she thinks the world needs, in a style that is uniquely hers. She’s a “commercial” author who tackles big topics and provokes readers into actually thinking about them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in “mindless entertainment.” But I don’t think entertainment has to come at the expense of passion and/or purpose.
(In fact, I think if you look closely, the best “mindless entertainment” has plenty of both.)
Books that are only written with dollar signs in mind? That’s not for me. And I’ve put down many books for pandering to the marketplace. They practically play Bingo with the various elements of popular fiction and then Frankenstein the pieces together, creating horrific monsters indeed.
Even though money is a concern* I aspire to more than a healthy bank account. Trite as it may sound, I do want to make a difference. I want to shed light on stories that aren’t being told or heard. I want to sweep myself off my feet, want to fall in love with my characters and get caught up in their world. I want to move readers. I want to open their minds and maybe — just maybe — change their lives.
The shift doesn’t have to be huge. I’m not so naïve/arrogant as to think that my stories will turn someone inside out. But even one tiny star twinkling in the night sky lets us know that there’s more out there. One star can make us look. One star can make us wonder.