Monday, October 25, 2010

What's Your Story?


It is my firm belief that there is a writer in each of us – a writer with a very unique story to tell. And how you tell it, is what makes you unique.

When I realized I enjoy writing enough that I should do it on a regular basis, something clicked inside me, like a cog, perfectly inline with my inner workings. It felt right, and I have since discovered how much of my story is in the stories I write. The ideas flow in and out of my mind as I live with my wife and four children. The words often come from those crazy moments when we are all packed into our Chevy Impala. You heard right. All six of us cram into an Impala (with a bench seat of course): 2 adults, 3 rapidly expanding boys and our darling little girl, who incidentally gets mercilessly squashed more often than not. Poor thing!

Sometimes, I think, “What if _________?” (fill in the blank) and off I go, musing over another idea.  If I’m lucky, the idea is entered into my black book. From there I make a few scrambled notes, and organize a general plot summary, and then I walk away (“Break the wrist and walk away” – Napoleon Dynamite. Sorry I had to add that). It’s like writing has become a third arm, second head, or some other dimensional extension of who I thought I was. The story is always on my mind. It’s always moving through me, questioning my last paragraph, my last line, my last scene of dialogue – almost as if it’s genetic. And perhaps it is. People have always been storytellers, verbally passing down histories, and ancestral narratives. I’m no different, I guess.

Today we love movies and books and magazines. Stories are what entertain us and keep our minds busy when we decide to put our feet up and look at the world from a different perspective – from the eyes of the storyteller. I think that explains why we are so interested in reality TV. We crave the story, fact, fiction, or grossly unrealistic, it doesn’t matter. The wilder the better!

Don’t feel bad, or less if you’re a reality TV junkie! I love the story too. In fact, as much as I love writing fiction, I actually prefer true stories! But for some strange reason, I love the mystical, spiritual, and paranormal realities of this world. I love writing about the spiritual angst that we all feel and wonder and worry about. What if there are ghosts? Where exactly is Heaven and Hell? How do we co-exist if these dimensional realities clash directly with our own existence? And how do our inner struggles move us closer to, or further away from God? These are all questions that are part of my story and likely part of yours.

I know first hand that writing has given me a sense of myself that I’ve never known.  What about you? Have you started your own story, or tucked your writing away? If so, I’d urge you to get back to it, for your sake and for the sake of anyone who needs that word that only you can give them – a word written from your heart, that’s meant for others to read.

Let me know about your long lost story. What’s it about? How were you inspired? What keeps you from going forward? Maybe this blog was written just for you, to encourage and inspire you. I hope so! BOOM!

3 comments:

  1. I typically prefer to read thrillers (detective & paranormal) and list King, Koontz, Grafton and Camp/Sandford as some of my favorite authors but have found writing from my own experiences and family stories is coming easier to me. Lost love come back after 17 years, motorcycle gangs, abuse, drugs, lost children, parental turmoil - all of these things have inspired me to write because, to be honest, it's a lot easier to write my feelings down than it is to pay a professional therapist!

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  2. I would love to be a writer, like PJ O'Rourke. His job would be my dream job. But I'm not a good writer, and I am really not funny. So I'm a marketer instead! Not funny but creative and challenging. I'm glad you are a writer though!

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