Monday, November 14, 2011

What All Writing Is About

What one word sums up everything that every successful writer has ever written? What one word tells us what every reader it is looking for? Think you can’t do it? Think you can’t come up with just one work? I think you can, because that one word is hope. Hope is what it is all about.

Take the bestselling book Heaven is for Real as an example. It has turned into a chase cow for Thomas Nelson. But why? What is it that people expect to find in its pages? Hope. Many people are fearful that maybe heaven isn’t real. They’re fearful that the Bible isn’t true. So they are turning to a little boy named Colton Burpo to give them hope. If he went to heaven and saw it, then it must be there. My fear is that he’ll let them down. I fear he’ll revise his statement later and say, “I made up most of that because I thought my parents wanted to hear it.” Read the book and tell me you don’t see that coming.

What about a novel, like Harry Potter. Don’t we look to characters like Harry with hope, wishing we too could wave a wand and change the world? Of course we would change it for the better and we would avoid the problems he faces, but wouldn’t it be nice?

Or what of a romance novel. Aren’t women looking to those characters for hope? They wish they’re husbands would treat them the same way the man in the story treats the woman.

What then of computer books? Surely, we can’t say they offer hope. And yet, they do. A reader picks up the book having reached the point that he knows he has a problem he isn’t sure how to solve. He hopes that the author of the book will solve the problem for him, so he doesn’t have to do all of the work required to solve the problem.

It really is all about hope.