“Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.”Earnest Hemingway
Storytelling is integral to almost all civilizations and peoples. They can be for entertainment but are often designed to teach truths and convey those things that are important to the tellers and their audiences. These stories shape us and influence who we are as individuals and as the collective “we”.
I began my own journey into this as an actor in a middle school production written by my teacher. The story was entertaining (even though it was a retelling of a classical Charles Dickens book). And then, as I matured, I moved into writing my own stories. My first foray into this magical world was for my high school newspaper where I wrote fiction in what was otherwise a typical high school newspaper. I even manage to get a small following of eager readers waiting for the next edition. Talk about a heady experience!
Writing and storytelling are things that I’ve always kept on the back burner. Every once in a while I would pick up pen and paper (or, more realistically, electronic device) and play with a few ideas. Some of them were good and I intended to get back to them. I would think, “This is what I need to be doing”. Then I would relegate it to the back burner again and get back to the “more important things”. The pull to write, to create characters, to listen to them as they talk and see what they suggest about their own stories remains. It occasionally knocks on my conscious thought and invites me to pay attention to it again.
I’ve asked myself why I haven’t gone back to it. What has kept me from pursuing storytelling? There are plenty of reasons but I think it all comes down to this: I wasn’t ready. What did I want to write? How do I integrate the writing process and the stories into my everyday life. I spent a lot of time living my life, trying to experience it as fully as possible. I even convinced myself that I was building up story material in the process. It’s not that these things were right or wrong; it just wasn’t the right time.
Now it is. Several of those stories I started on are whispering for completion. I’ve read them to a few close friends who are encouraging me to continue writing and to finish those stories. I’ve found the space and the focus to take the next step.