I sat in a job interview today – probably my ‘personal best’ as far as thinking on my feet and demonstrating my capability (and faith in myself) to do a type of job I’ve never had. I opened myself up to be loved – shared my dogs, the things I love, with perfect strangers. I also talked about my book, my pet project (since the planning phases are on my CV as a sabbatical), when they asked me how I handle criticism. It was a whole panel interviewing me and the conversation flowed easily and organically. So, one of the interviewers asked me, what made me want to write a book? I was momentarily baffled, but I suppose it was a valid question. I thought a moment and called to mind a defining moment when I was writing my thesis in my third year of a BA Cultural and Literary Studies degree specializing in English when my supervisor told me to read JRR Tolkien’s essay ‘On Fairy Stories’. And then the following answer flowed out of me:
Although JRR Tolkien’s creative works (The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth) will always hold a special place in my heart, his academic work made an immense impression on me as a student. The way he talks about the power of stories made me want to write the story that’s inside me.
Of course that was the 2 penny answer I gave on the spot to people who were more curious than interested, but in essence that’s the truth of it. Great authors and great stories change us and in changing the way one person thinks, influence a future choice for the good, take away a small prejudice/ignorance… therein lies the incalculable power and wealth of story-telling. I want to do that – not for money or prestige, but in recognition of every story that’s come across my path that did (and continues to do) that for me, because that is one of the gifts the Creator gave me and how I am able to be, through the infinite creative power of my mind, a small measure of “image and likeness” He made us to be.