The other day, I saw Saving Mr. Banks with my mom and two kids. We chose the movie because it seemed like the type of thing that can be enjoyed by people of all ages: not too much violence, no graphic sex, etc. Plus it stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, and those two aren’t in the habit of making bad films. Not to mention that it seemed to have an uplifting story, which is never a bad thing as the holiday season draws to a close.
But what I didn’t expect from the film was the tremendous sense of validation it gives to the career of the writer. Those of us who spend our time weaving characters into story lines sometimes ask ourselves questions like: what’s the point of all this? Why am I sitting here hacking away at this computer when I could be out earning a steady paycheck or volunteering at the local food pantry?
And for some of us, those questions eventually force us to quit writing. Which is OK. A steady paycheck is a good and often necessary part of life, and there are far too many hungry people in the world. But for those of us who keep hacking away, Saving Mr. Banks makes a pretty decent argument for us. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, but when Tom Hanks, as Walt Disney, says, “That’s what storytellers do. We restore order to imagination. We bring hope,” I couldn’t help feeling inspired to get back to work on the novel I’ve been struggling with.
So if you’re feeling blocked these days or maybe just a bit uncertain about your writing career, maybe you owe yourself a couple of hours in the movie theater.