I like my story.
I like writing it, thinking about it, trying out new ways of telling it, talking about it, laboring over it. I like reading advice— ‘If you don’t love writing it, your readers won’t love reading it’— and thinking, “I LOVE THIS! You guys are going to die when you read this!” I like the excitement of crafting a great scene and thinking, yeah, nailed it.
“All of us are living stories, and those stories teach other people to live stories. And what our stories are about matters, not just for us but for the world.”
Lately I’ve had a few reminders that I’ve been neglecting my story. The one I’m living.
My kindergartener isn’t a super reader, but he’s on the verge. My too-smart-for-their-own-good older boys didn’t get straight As on their last report card, but if we bust our butts now, they can finish strong. I haven’t danced with Punk in two months, and I miss him. I’m up against a deadline and only have one of three articles done for the newspaper– it’s good, but you know.
Something’s got to give.
I’ve got to “live a better story.”
Uncle John deserves a mention, since I didn’t chime in with a week 16 review last Tuesday. After much deliberation, I’ve decided to take a 3 week hiatus from writing a good story, in order to live a good story. I’ll be posting more about great stories I’m reading, great stories I’m living, and great novel ideas I’ll get back to sweating over when school’s done.
“A writer of fiction can control all those elements, but as real life protagonists we can control only what we do and say, what choices we make, what words we say. The rest is up to fate.”
I chose to be a wife. Then a mom. Then a teacher, journalist, speaker. Author is my goal, but those other stories are good ones, too, and their chapters aren’t over. I still have goals for those roles.
For the next 3 weeks, I intend to co-star in some memorable scenes: band and orchestra concerts… community service at a women’s prison… a birthday party. I will speak publicly (twice) and (not) freak out on stage. I will go to the beach, to the park, and to graduations. I will live a story worth writing about. I will continue to dabble at my novel, because I can’t leave it alone for more than a day or two. And because I sense there is material out there– stuff I don’t want to miss; stuff that will enrich and enliven the novel I want so much to write.
In 3 weeks, I will go back at it hard and fast, because a great story deserves to be told.
A great story also deserves to be lived.
“Once I understood the power of story in my personal life, I wanted to know more about how to create a good one… In a way, I’d started a new story about trying to find a story, and so I didn’t need to escape my boring life anymore. I was a character who wanted something, and well, that’s half the battle.”
I like my story.
*all quotes from Don Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He inspires me to live a better story.