When you’re my age—past the three-quarter-century mark now—you often look back at all the experiences you’ve had in life and wonder, have I learned anything? Do I have any insights now that make life more understandable? More enjoyable?
I think most of us can say “Yes!” to those questions. And that’s where writing comes in. We long to reveal our true selves to our companions on the journey—to connect with them, to give them a boost, and maybe to entertain them too.
Last night I read several short stories in a well-known literary journal, and I was disappointed. Every story I read was full of dysfunctional characters, awash in drugs, alcohol abuse, traumatic experiences. Why do so many modern-day story writers want to muck around in all the dark stuff? I can understand why some of that might be okay—it’s part of “real life”—but it’s certainly not all of life. Without any positive points to their stories, it leaves the reader depressed.
This old woman enjoys hearing and writing about the difficult experiences that we, or our characters, have learned from, the obstacles overcome, the blessings of friends who have encouraged and supported us, or our characters, as we pass through the trials of life.
What about you? What do you like to read?