Have you ever asked yourself why you are writing a particular piece? Writers are often attracted to an idea, feel compelled to pursue it, and begin researching and writing before stopping to analyze this question. The question has two distinct emphases: the “you” and the “piece”. Why are YOU writing this piece? What part of your life experience, core beliefs, or abilities are being tapped when bringing the characters, plot, themes and story to life? And, why are you choosing to write THIS piece? Out of all of the ideas being explored, why are you driven to work on this one?
When I was asked last year whether I was interested in running to become the president of EPIC Group Writers for 2016, I brought the same questions to bear. What can I contribute to EPIC, and why EPIC?
People might have many reasons for wanting to assume the presidency of an organization. Some people enjoy positions of authority. That wasn’t my motivation. I like to get things done and find solutions. I like it when people work cooperatively and take initiative, sharing the fulfillment and work of running an organization. I get excited by new ideas and am eager to support good ones.
But, why was I willing to undertake the job, knowing that it would take a lot of time away from my writing and other things I enjoy doing? The key lies in the second half of the question. Why EPIC? And that gets down to the essence of the importance of writing.
Being a writer is a lot like being a musician. Not everyone has the talent of a Paul McCartney, Carole King, or Paul Simon, but millions of songs are written and sung every year, in concert halls, at weddings, at graduations, and at bars, clubs and local performances. The importance of song writing is to share our life experiences together, often on an emotional level, because we feel a connection when the music and lyrics ring true.
The same is true of writing. People write at all levels of competency. What is important is that they do write and share their take on life and the world through their imaginations. We connect through shared experience, through what we learn from each other, from the worlds and characters we create that mean something to us. Whether writing memoir, science fiction, kid-lit, travel, romance or creative non-fiction, we tell stories…our stories…each through a unique lens, that connect us emotionally, creatively, intellectually, and sometimes, on an instinctive, deep-rooted level.
I’ve been researching and writing a historical novel for a while now. The letters, diaries and accounts written at the time reveal how people lived, what mattered to them, and what their lives were like. Someday, people will research what we, collectively, have written, and try to decipher what our lives were like and what mattered to us.
EPIC dedicates itself to fostering writing at all levels of competence and experience. EPIC stands for the idea that writing matters. People and their lives matter. The writing community matters. If writing is something you do, or want to do, and it matters to you, then you matter to us. We are here to support you and hope you will join EPIC and give back. By participating. By joining a writing or critique group. By donating. By helping EPIC find a space to call home. Because, collaborating together, a writing community can be a powerful thing.
Copyright 2016 Susan Lehne Ferguson