An essay I just recently submitted to DirectTextbook.com for a competition. The grand prize is money for books which I will use for my senior year at Eckerd. The theme was about how your purpose effects your life. Lucky for me, I believe I turned it in just as the competition reached it’s limit. However, the short essay I wrote spoke so much truth about who I am that I felt I should share it especially since I have a) been extremely lacking on new content, something I hope to improve on and b) because I enjoyed what I wrote here and felt I should share. Hope you enjoy and wish me luck!
In the opening of her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s character Robert Walton writes to his sister about embarking on his dream expedition to the Northern Pacific. He states, “I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose-a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
Upon reading this passage, it spoke to me on a level that rivaled the inspiration of Shelly herself. A woman before her time, she was the inventor of science fiction and it began as nothing more than a competition to see who could tell a better ghost story.
As a writer myself whose many stories seem to revolve around the supernatural and science fiction, I know that I would not have a future without women like Shelley or Anne Rice or Jane Austen or JK Rowling or even film directors such as Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman to win an Oscar for Best Director in it’s 86 year history.
These women have followed their purpose in life, to tell stories of such power that not even those who question their abilities due to their gender could muffle their explosive force.
I was exceedingly lucky to discover my own purpose of story telling at a young age. I had an inkling of my path in elementary when I prided myself in using the word “scrumptious” to describe a cookie. However, it wasn’t until I was in high school, in love with theater and film that I realized just how much of an impact stories and words made in my life.
This revelation came in the form of another quote, one that came from the Noble Prized Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In my sophomore English class, we had been studying one of Solzhenitsyn’s works about the power of words. In it, he stated, “One word of truth outweighs the world.”
As the rest of my classmates scratched their heads trying to figure out what he could mean by that statement, to me it made perfect sense. “Of course one word of truth could hold such power,” I thought. “It has happened so many times before and continues to happen today. It destroyed and built nations, religions, and lives. How come none of you understand that?”
That was the moment that I knew I was unquestionably a writer and one that knew of the power that she has with her words. Ever since I learned those words, I have allowed it to guide me on my purpose to tell stories and spread new ideas through out the world with the power of my words.
In all honesty, I’m not sure what my life would be like without this purpose. All I know is this: without my gift of understanding the power of the written word, the rest of the world would seem like nothing more than an empty lie or Shelley’s cold corpse of a monstrosity.