I’ve thought a lot lately about my mission as a writer. What do I want readers to take away from my work? To answer that question, I keep coming back to the angel teddy bear perched on the bookshelf beside my writing desk.
The bear was a gift I gave myself many years ago, and the word ‘hope’ is embroidered on one of its tiny white paws. Just as hope has been a touchstone in my life, I’ve discovered it’s also a core philosophy in my writing.
Hope is the belief in possibilities. That the tangled strands of a plot, or a life, will unsnarl, and the rough will once again become smooth.
Hope is also the belief in the redemptive power of love, family and friendship. The themes which run through everything I write.
Not least, hope is about finding home, a place which should be a bulwark against the world. I write romance in the hope of bringing hearts home.
I don’t think it’s happenstance that the books I see most often in hospital waiting rooms are romance or women’s fiction. For women especially, both escape and inspiration at stressful times are found in stories where others have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, and held fast to the magical hope of a happy ending.
I want readers to come away from my writing with a sense of warmth, comfort and encouragement which, if only briefly, helps ease life’s burdens.
It turns out my I had my writing mission long before I knew what one was. All I had to do was look in my heart, and on my bookshelf.
Do you have a mission for life or writing?
You’re right, Jen – hope is an essential ingredient in all our lives. In our darkest times, it is what keeps us going. When we are immersed in reading, we care about the characters and become involved in their struggles. The struggle can make a compelling, page-turning plot, but on a deeper level there is that basic human feeling of hope.
Congratulations, Jen, on another thought-provoking post. If the warmth and sensitivity you show in your blogs are reflected in your fiction-writing (and I’m sure they are), then I’m sure your story-telling must bring warmth and encouragement to your readers.
Thank you, Sue. I ‘hope’ the qualities you’ve identified in my blog posts are mirrored in my fiction. At least, that’s what I strive to do. I appreciate your lovely comment and, as always, your kind support of my blog.