I have this quote near my computer to remind me of the importance of narrative, among other things. Jodi Picoult is a master at the craft of writing, if you don’t know her work, you’ll want to check it out! (She writes for adults; however, many high school and middle school readers can’t read her books fast enough! Her book, My Sister’s Keeper, was recently released as a movie.)
I think we have stories because they help us understand who we are. But there’s a tendency to assume that a story must be ingested in a certain way, that it must mean one thing. So readers are always trying to ferret out the truth. I want to argue that this idea is a raging and utter lie. The reader brings as much to the book as the writer does. You’re bringing your past, you’re bringing your thoughts, you’re bringing your future. It’s my job as a writer to tell you a story that’s going to take you away from whatever you’re doing — your laundry, your kids, whatever — but that, to me, is the least important part. When I sit down to write a book, my goal is to make you ask yourself, Why are my opinions what they are? I’m not going to make you change them necessarily. You might, if I’ve done a good job,k but at the very least, you’re going to ask yourself where you stand on a given issue. To me the mark of a great book is that it can move a variety of people, even though each person is connecting in a different way. The purpose of a story is to be a crowbar that slides under your skin and, with luck, cracks your mind wide open.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.