I only write it, I don’t have to analyze it!”
As a writer, I feel like I’ve had to say that a million times.
Every time I write a poem, it’s not because of some deep inner feeling causing me to write to poem–it’s just a string of words that I happened to think sounded good together. If it IS a deep inner feeling, then it’s probably something my subconsciousness is telling me, because I never seem to see that it has any deeper meaning.
I know a lot of high school English teachers say, “The writer usually writes because he/she has a purpose or a meaning they want to convey through their writing.” I couldn’t disagree with a statement more. I think that a lot of the times, there are writers like me, who feel like they are just good at stringing words together. Sometimes, those strung-together words develop a deeper meaning that occasionally applies to the whole world. To date, I have two first place prizes in writing, and I think both of those were for unintentional theme.
Most of the time, I write because I have a story to tell, characters, a plot, an objective. Sometimes, I write seat-of-the-pants, because I have the beginnings of an idea, or sometimes I write because I know everything that’s going to happen. But I can tell you, most writers whose books turn out excellent themes, thesis, objectives, morals… the list goes on. But what’s unique about those writers is that they are trying to tell a STORY. And when a powerful story is written, powerful themes emerge as well.
A lot of writers can only touch on what their works mean. Who knows if William Shakespeare knew he was writing what would someday become some of the biggest influential literary works in the world? Who knew Jules Verne would write much-beloved classics? And was Sandra Cisneros, author of the award-winning novella The House on Mango Street, trying to convey so many universal themes, or was she just trying to show the world what poverty really was?
We may never know what their intentions were, but so many people just have a story to tell that ended up with deep, strong themes that all of us see. Like J.K. Rowling’s theme of motherly love in the Harry Potter Series: was that what she was trying to convey, or did it just make an excellent plotline?
See, many things we’ll never know, but as writers, we don’t have to analyze our work.