Under the Sun // the importance of resonance

6:00 AM

There's nothing new under the sun. Can we really contribute to the world? Can we really share anything new?

There's a key point here. Under the sun. That's where we live. We all live under the same sun. We're all the same in some ways, yet we are vastly different.

So if we're all living on this earth, and we all have this in common, and there's nothing new to be had ... that begs the question: why do we write, and what should our writing contain, if not newness?



I will first point out that there is newness to be had. Just not pure originality. But we can take mixtures and combinations and throw them together and make something wild and beautiful. We don't get annoyed with people for not being "new". People are people, and while we all have so much in common, and every trait you have can be found in someone else somewhere on this planet, that doesn't make those people any less unique and interesting. What matters is the combination of known things in an individual person (or story), and how those combine to create something in and of itself, which could be thought of as new.

But I want to focus on the question I mentioned above. Why do we write, and what should our writing contain, if not newness?

The short answer? Truth.

We write to show the truth about the reality we live in. About human nature and conflict and pain and happiness and joy and love and sorrow and grief. We write to explore these concepts that everyone knows and everyone faces at some point in their lives.

We write to explore the deeper meanings of what we already know. Where did this idea come from, anyway, that says our writing has to be full of new things? If we could create something completely new, it wouldn't be as amazing as you might think because people wouldn't even be able to relate to it. They might find it wild and interesting and highly entertaining, but it wouldn't last because they wouldn't be able to connect to it. And if we can't connect, it doesn't really have true meaning.

The best stories are great because they contain the rawest forms of things we know. And those things resonate with us.

That's what story telling is really about. It's about writing relatable stories that touch our hearts. It's about writing the truth to issues we face. It's about doing the opposite of what we often feel we need to do. It's about plunging headlong into what we know and experience every day, and confronting the truth in those things.

Where the newness comes in is with how we approach it. And the opportunities to do that are quite endless. The combination of truths to explore and the ways to explore them are limitless. Don't stress about not being "original" enough. If you have a message pumping through your veins, it'll find a way to make itself heard. Truth has a hard time keeping quiet.

Do you struggle with writing new ideas? What are some common truths that you explore in writing? 

<3

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10 comments

  1. Truth, I like that. I never try to be original, everyone has a different take on things. That is what makes your writing unique.

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    1. Exactly! The very fact that you're writing something is originality in and of itself :)

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  2. Amen to this! I really like your point that even if we could come up with something entirely new, no one would be able to relate to it - it wouldn't be the outcome we want anyway! Thanks for the encouragement, Hannah. xx

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    1. I'm glad this encouraged you! <3 Thank you for reading!

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  3. Great post! I think it is important to write what's on our hearts and what God is impressing us to write. Your points here are really good! Thanks for sharing!
    -Brooklyne

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    1. "What God is impressing on us to write." I really like the way you worded that!

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  4. This is such a good post!!! :) The point about being able to relate to the story, reminded me of the writing advice that says, if you ever write alien characters, some element of them must reflect the human experience -- otherwise it will be impossible for the reader to like or relate to them.

    Thank you for this! <3

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    1. Oooh I like that! That's a good rule of thumb for fantasy cultures / creatures too.

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  5. This is really...true. *cringes*
    I've struggled with originality lately as I'm developing my latest story idea, so this was very well timed - thank you!
    Your point about resonance is important; if we didn't understand a story, it wouldn't affect us.
    -Deborah

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    1. Aw, I'm so glad! <3 And exactly. The goal of every story isn't just entertainment, but impact.

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