Yesterday morning, as I was reading some of the blogs I follow, I came across this post, “Some Thoughts on Hope, Cynicism, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves,” on Brain Pickings, which is excellent reading, in and of itself.
However, I was most moved by portions of a quote shared from William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, moved enough to seek out the speech in its entirety. After discussing the world-wide angst triggered by the development of the atomic bomb and the cold war, Faulkner says:
I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his head, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars, to help him endure and prevail.
Such beautiful, ringing, and inspiring words! I wish I’d written them. I long to write words like them, to tell stories that do exactly what Faulkner is charging the artists of the world to do.
As a children’s and YA author, I love that one of the trademarks of our corner of the literary world is that we not only try to write true, to write real–even in the fantasy realms, but we also strive to leave our readers with hope.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, as a lover of people in all our wide variety of lives, and hopes and dreams, as someone who appreciates the goodness we are capable of doing and the beauty we are able to create, I am committed to bring my readers a vision of hope.
What motivates the writer in you?