It's now been a few weeks since I attended the amazing LDStorymakers writing conference. In addition to all the wonderful classes and awesome people, there was the most moving and powerful keynote address I've ever heard. Author Anne Perry stood up and reminded us who we are.
We are storytellers. We are members of one of the oldest and most honored traditions on the planet.
Stories, she reminded us, are how we find and attempt to understand the truths we seek about life-- who we are, where we're from, and where we're going. What should we do that is wise? What is good and stupid and what will happen when we make mistakes? They remind us that when you act less than you could've been, you make yourself less.
In this age of instant communication and distraction, I've found that sometimes I let the story itself take a backseat. I let other things matter: how long has it been since I blogged, and how many comments are on my recent post, and who should I tweet, and she has more followers, and he got more offers of agent representation, and her book is coming out next year and why isn't mine yet.
Great writing, Anne Perry said, is relatively simple. It uses simple words. The basic words of ordinary people hold the meanings dearest
to them. Put your heart on the page. Write the thing that is most beautiful to you. What's in your heart is precious-- it enriches you. Let it enrich others. Your book may be the companion some reader has been seeking.
So, my friends, remember the power you have. You are a storyteller. You have the ability to communicate to readers the truths they are seeking through your stories. All the reader sees is your final words on the page, and the meaning in those words that is precious to them. And that is all that really matters.