First, let me start by saying that this has little to do with politics itself. This is a writing blog, and I intend to keep it as such. What I am writing about is not what FLOTUS said, but what she accomplished with a very powerful weapon…words.
As writers, our biggest goal (well, I hope it’s the biggest goal) is to make a connection. No matter how far out the characters, location, or plot, we are still writing about the human condition. We must touch on that, sometimes strike on it, in order to pull our readers into our imaginary world. If we fail at this, the reader will close the book within the first five pages, never to pick it up again.
I can’t identify with being the First Lady. I can’t even identify with being a mom. I can, however, identify with student loans, getting equal pay, and seeing my LGBT friends want to be married. That’s part of MY human condition. That is what we have to find in our own works; we have to find what it is to be human. We might not hit every human experience, because quite frankly that’s impossible, but we will touch someone…hopefully many.
Michelle Obama did not need any long words or “purple prose” to hit a nerve with her audience. She was simply herself. She simply told her story, and connected it to the human condition. Yes, some politics were woven in; it is the Democratic National Convention, after all. But she sounded less like a walking mouthpiece and more like…well, Michelle.
That’s our job. She isn’t a writer, but that one speech reaffirmed what it means to be one. It means that you believe what you write, you speak from your heart, and you connect with your readers through the human condition. Achieve that, and you will always have a reader…or a thousand…