Writing to Make People Happy

Probably my biggest role model as a writer is my Grandma Curtis. She never wrote a full-length book that I know of, but she did publish a few articles in local magazines and newspapers. I think the thing that influences me the most about her writing was her passion for doing it. The only thing that surpassed her passion for reading and writing was her family. I suppose it was her family that kept her from becoming a professional writer. Some today would have said that her family was a distraction from her writing – and maybe it was. But there are things greater than writing, and things greater than the fulfillment of dreams, and family is one of them.

Anyway, here’s a little snippet from her life history:

On May 7, 1920 my brother David Irvin was born. The Lady that came to help mom, a Mrs. Sorensen, wrote a poem and read it in Sunday School. It went something like this, “The father’s eyes did light with joy… when first he learned it was a boy.” She game Mom a copy of the poem, and Mom read it to everyone who came to see us. She loved poetry. Maybe it was way back then that I first decided I’d like to read and write magic kind of words to make people happy… to be a writer.

At first I didn’t take much note to this, except that it was one of the first times she felt like she wanted to write. Then I re-read the last part. She wanted to write the “kind of words to make people happy.”

That got me thinking about the rest of her writings. Throughout, there is always an element of innocence, of an almost naïve optimism that some today would criticize as amateur and childish. But I’m not sure her intent was to impress the writing community. I think she was living by her motto of writing to make people happy.

What a powerful motivation! What a great approach to writing! I wish more authors wrote to try to make people happy.

Think about it. Why do you write? What is your motivation?

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