Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finding Your Stories

Have you ever told yourself you have nothing to write about? Have you ever asked 'what can I possibly share that someone would want to read?'

I hope today is the last time you say those things.

I hope today is the day you recognize that your life is filled with stories--life is filled with stories. You only need to learn how to write them down.

Where do I get my stories from? I start first with the people and events closest to me--my family, my friends and mostly my own history. Every day we set our feet on the bedroom floor--there's a story waiting to be written. We as writers only need to look around and dig deeper.

Today I cleaned my house, ironed some clothes, read a book, and cooked some meals.

So okay, you say--where is the story in that??

Well, what I've told you are only the outward events. What else was going on? What were my emotions as I took a call from my daughter or my mother or opened the mail and found a card from a friend encouraging me?Why did my neighbor stop over in the middle of the day and tell us about his job search--why did my husband react to a picture of a black Lab named Fay in the Pennysaver?

Where's the story in our mundane lives? Perhaps the story is so faint--you need to step back and put your hand to your ear or perhaps the story is so loud you can only run and write it down to catch the emotions.

Listen with your heart and you'll find your stories.


Angie Ledbetter said...

These mundane everyday chores we all have to do are the exact same things some of our characters will be doing against a backdrop of a bigger, more interesting plot.

And on mindless chores -- they are one of the best ways to release the creative side of our brains. Driving, showering, ironing...oh how the mind wanders to bigger things when half of it is occupied with something else.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes! One day I saw a young man walk across the LSU campus in this protective way -arms at his side, leaning forward, all self-protected, and he became my fact, I need to go in and work on Anaheim...he's been languishing too long!

Thanks for stopping by the YOG - can't wait for Angie to get here!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh yes ... some of life's brilliant beauty, daring drama, amazing adventure and wieghty ways are enshrouded in the simplicity of living. Everyone has a story (tons of them); and every story is already captured in the annals of heaven's library.

Our challenge, then, is to share them here and now. Thank God we have some folks like you to show the way.

Be blessed,

Jenna said...

Thank you fot this Terri...very inspiring!

Janna Qualman said...

I thought about this kind of thing last week, and came to the realization that everybody has a story to tell. Maybe not everyone is equipped for the telling, which is where our task as writers comes in. And I agree... if our eyes and minds are open, we'll see what it is we're supposed to write about. Great post, Terri!

AnooCre8ion said...

It's funny how I was thinking about this same thing only a short while ago. I am a caretaker and while talking with my patient my mind started to drift away from a story I had heard about 50 times or exaggeration....but then I said you know, for 87 years old she has a really good memory. So I've decided, from now on, I am going to listen to her never ending stories with a different kind of ear.

Thanks for the inspiration Terri.


Tracy said...

You have quickly become a favorite stopping place for me. I truly enjoy coming over to your blog and gleaning the bits of wisdom seeds you sow for the rest of us. Have you thought about putting all of this info together in an e-book or something like that? Not that I don't mind receiving your advice and tips for free, but I really think you could do well with this. Blessings, my friend!

Melissa Marsh said...

I think there is so much we can glean from our everyday lives - we just need to stop, look, and listen!

Thanks for this post, Tiffany, and I look forward to catching up with your life after my vacation across the pond!