Living a Story

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Several nights ago, along with a couple of peers, I sat with a sweet older lady who shared stories of her life. They were fascinating, but it wasn’t the stories that stuck with me; it was what she said about them.

“These stories,” she told us, “These stories are who we become.”

That struck me. The story I am living right now is shaping the person I am becoming. So, this of course begs the question “What kind of story am I living?” I wish I were braver, better, kinder, more courageous and more content. I spend time thinking about those things, but how much time do I actually spend trying to live them?

I read an excellent post recently by Jeff Goins. You can read the entire post here, but below are a couple of choice quotes that stood out on this theme of living a story:

“Every first draft is ugly, all good writing is rewriting, and a great life comes from making mistakes. The point is to get on with it.”

“…There comes a time when you can’t just write about life. You have to live it. Even when it scares you half to death.”

Fear. I am afraid of a lot of things right now. The future. Failure. I have been afraid to write this blog for fear of what others will say. The picture below aptly describes me.

caveexplore

I’ll stand outside of the cave, I’ll pose in front of it, I’ll even act like I’m embarking on a grand spelunking adventure, but deep down, I have no desire or intention to actually go in, to explore, to face the darkness. It’s too scary.

This has to change.

Below are a few ways I am attacking fear as a writer this year:

1) This blog. Putting my writing out in public is scary. Time to get some gumption.

2) Telling others about my writing. I have been ashamed of something I love so intensely for far too long. Time to speak up.

3) Attending a writer’s conference. This one freaks me out. You say the word “networking” and I want to run for the hills, but you know what? I have plenty to learn, and I have something to offer. Time to step out.

How will you face the fear as a writer this year? How will you live a great story?

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2 thoughts on “Living a Story

  1. Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Nation Novel Writing Month. It happens every November and they host “write-ins” where writers of all kinds gather and “work” (actually, they mostly socialize and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by like-minds). You should look it up, it helped me overcome my fear of telling people and helped me to become a better writer in one fell swoop.

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