What constitutes a meaningful life? Do you need to travel the world or champion a noble cause to be remembered? Or could achieving greatness be as simple as enjoying a glass of wine while reading a great book?

We talk a lot on Coffee Break about writing and the challenges inherent to the craft. But seldom do we discuss the complexity and beauty of just living a noteworthy life, which is the only true fuel for inspired writing.

“The journey to becoming a writer starts with living.”

My guest today shares the many and varied facets of living a meaningful life. Vahan Zanoyan is the author of two books of poetry and three novels, exploring topics ranging from anti-trafficking advocacy to global politics. His latest novel, The Sacred Sands, recounts the geopolitical events leading to the Gulf War through his own experiences as a global energy consultant.

But whether he’s providing an insider look into the oil industry or raising awareness for social justice, Vahan has found fiction to be his most powerful tool.

“I believe you can expose the truth better through a story than just listing off a fact.”

Combining real-life people and experiences into works of fiction has exposed Vahan’s work to a wider audience, moving people around the world in a way a newscast could never hope to achieve. And if that wasn’t enough, we even manage to find time to discuss writing! Through constant learning, travel, and taking time to enjoy the finer things, Vahan can always find something in the world to keep him excited.

“It’s fun to research, to uncover. And once you absorb all this and then internalize it, to put it back out on paper through your own mind and soul… there’s nothing like it.”

Vahan is currently working on his fourth novel about the history of wine. Be sure to check in on his current adventure and take a look at all his work on his website. Thanks for listening!

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