I need to think through a question I’ve been pondering for quite some time:
What should I write?
There is a truth that encourages me to ask that question:
Nothing much needs to be said.
There are enough people saying A. There are enough people countering A. There are enough people writing stories about B. There are enough stories about everything you can think of. There are books that I would adore that I will never be able to read. There are movies, video games, endless articles, podcasts. There is enough out there to keep one entertained/informed/educated/inspired (or any other purpose you can think of) for a hundred million lifetimes. Much of this stuff is not only good, but brilliant.
What should I write?
If I wanted to write a story about a period that tired of its role, I could. But does that story need to be told? What would a period that tired of its role do that isn’t a story already told about a human who was a like a period that tired of her role? As an idea, it’s a cute metaphor, but someone has told that story already.
What about a story about a person who becomes famous because they figure out how to do dry cleaning at home? As it turns out, there are products that let you dry clean at home. What I thought was an interesting premise turns out to be a product that I can buy.
Even if I were to write a story about a guy sitting in his underwear eating Cheerios trying to figure out what to write, someone out there is writing about the same thing. Is there any topic that isn’t being discussed that could use a person to write about?
Or maybe a better question is: is there anything that wants repeating? Are there things largely misunderstood? Are there any inaccurate narratives that are proliferating today that are not countered enough?
How do I know? I read, but is it enough to know what stories are being told or not? Even if I thought I was doing something necessary, I should not be surprised to find that that has been done many times by many people.
Do I think I can do a better or different job than those people who are already creating excellent narratives?
Maybe it’s simpler. Maybe I’m creating friends for the reader. We learn about life from friends and what they are inspired by and struggle with.
Or even simpler.
A good story is a story that interests someone from the beginning of the story to the end.
A good story is a story that reveals truth and emboldens wisdom. A good way to do that is to create a story that interests someone from the beginning of the story to the end. A good way to make a story that interests someone from the beginning to the end is to make characters that they care about like they care about friends or family.
To reveal truth and embolden wisdom, make truth. Fiction makes truth in artistic ways, but it does. Can there be too much truth in the world? Does the world have too much of it? Some truth can only be revealed through dreams and dream like interactions.