When I was a kid, I wanted to belong. A desire common, probably to all children, and adults for that matter. But for reasons that still escape me even now, I never felt like I did. No matter where I was or whom I was with, I always felt a little outside of the circle. Not because of any particular trauma or horrible family existence. Sure, things happened to me when I was a kid but it was ordinary stuff – sibling rivalry, school bullies, mean girls, rebellion, rejection, disappointment, embarrassment, break-ups, change. Normal stuff. That happens to everyone.

But this feeling of being an outsider drove me to write. Poems, disjointed blurbs, ideas, stories, alternate realities. Whatever soothed at the moment. And while writing I didn’t feel like an outsider. I felt at home. I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing. Doubts, uncertainties, and fears about myself didn’t live in my writing place. I suppose you could say writing is what brought me peace and clarity.

Not long ago I read an article or a blog post or something about themes in stories. The themes that writers employ in their stories. This particular writer had realized that his stories all had the same over arching theme – finding and connecting with his father. It was simple piece, probably not noticed by many, certainly not one of those posts that go viral. It was quietly profound. At least it made me think. Did I have an over arching theme in my stories? What was it?

I do. All my stories are about belonging. Or rather, wanting to belong.

And I’m okay with that.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that all writers have a theme. It’s dressed up in smart dialogue, breath taking prose, crazy plot lines and subplots, weird or profound characters, humor or tragedy – but it’s there. Always there.

And I think that maybe that’s why we write – to solve and to understand the over arching themes of our personal lives. To play out all the possible scenarios of that which we cannot quite conquer in life. Strive to understand but never quite do.
What about you? Do your stories have the same theme? Or do you gravitate to stories that have the same theme? Do you find comfort in that?

15 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. Oh, yes, I definitely have some recurring themes in what I come up with. It’s not always deliberate. Mostly, it’s about females discovering their true worth, their inner strength, and carving their own paths. I agree, though, that all writers court the feeling of belonging. We’re loners by nature, so it’s quite normal I think. Lovely post, Annie ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ramona,
      Yeah, it’s funny but until I read that post, I never really thought about recurring themes with writers. Of course now, it makes total sense.

      Female empowerment is an awesome theme. 😀

      I suppose many writers can relate to the belonging thing. We are loners (except for those of us who are extroverts and I can think of several off the top of my head) but too, I think we also truly enjoy the company of other human beings – otherwise I’m not sure we’d spend so much time writing about them.

      For me though, it was good to realize this about my writing. I think it will help improve it. I hope so anyway.

      Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments.
      Annie 😀


  2. I think my theme is social justice, with girl/woman protagonists doing the leading and thinking…
    Not that I’ve written an awful lot, but even in my ideas list there are quite a few with that theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh. I have no idea. But I shall ponder this idea until I discover my theme. I’m a new blogger. I have 48 to review and a columnist, maybe another 48 or so to look at. I am very interested in what I will find. One would think I would know as I am not a young person! Thanks for the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Welcome to the whacky world of blogging. I wish you great success.

      LOL – I don’t think I was making a challenge, but feel free to look for themes in your work. Personally, I believe that understanding those themes would help to deepen a writer’s work. Although, this is simply my observation, not a fact. There are probably many writers who don’t use a particular theme in their work.

      Thanks for the comments. 😀


  4. I was just thinking about this the other day. It’s as though humans strive for internal equilibrium, and if there is any internal dissonance, it finds a way to manifest. Doesn’t matter if it is trying to maintain a lie, being in conflict with someone, or feeling like you don’t fit in – it will be expressed until it has been resolved and equilibrium reasserts itself.

    PS. I like your writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that people and even the world seeks equilibrium. And voids are filled, whether you want them to be or not. I kind of like it though – our need to sort of crash into things in order to learn and walk about smarter perhaps even wiser individuals.

      Thanks! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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