I have many core beliefs. One of those beliefs is the idea that "PRACTICE MAKES IMPROVEMENT " perfect is subjective. As I sat practicing my writing, I drifted off into my imagination, and I thought…have I always wanted to be a writer? The answer is no. I had always gravitated towards it; I kept elaborate journals and was painfully loyal to the books, quotes and articles that made me feel something; I even studied journalism in college but there wasn’t this sure feeling that I wanted to be a writer -- per se.Now, in retrospect, I see that I wanted to be a storyteller. To be CRYSTAL CLEAR, that’s different than being a writer. You can write about something and have it be informative, intelligent, and educational even. But a story teller will write something that transcends simple avenues of communication. A storyteller will connect, they will relate, they will make a difference. A storyteller is the teller of stories, they can write informative, intelligent and educational things, but they can also be brave, lively, and comforting. THEY MAKE US FEEL.
Back in the dark ages before Pinterest, I used to save articles from magazines. I stored them in these page protectors and binders; (my original Pinterest account is still at my mom’s house in a box somewhere—and furthermore, my sister introduced me to original Pinterest and actual Pinterest.) These articles that made the cut were so well written that I knew I had to save them because I knew I couldn’t live properly without the opportunity of reading them again. I also had this urge to share them with other people, surely they’d smile, cry, or laugh—like I had done.
From a relatively young age, I became very loyal to what I liked to read; if I got around to giving something literary a chance—definitely not fiction—and I liked it, then I would keep it like a comfort object that would always be there for me in some capacity. Those books and articles were so integral to the foundation of the ‘me’ that I eventually became, they made me more motivated to be the storyteller that I always wanted to be.When I was in grade school, I think checked out the same 2 books each and every library day. As I mentioned, I was always loyal. So against my mother’s nudges, I came home with “Oscar the Otter” or “Amelia Bedelia” and delighted in the joy of reading those pages. I would wallow in glory, it was magnificent how my loyalty to those words made me feel. I would transport into this fantastic world were eventually a small smile would decorate my face. And as I closed the back cover on either book, I knew I made the right choice.
I wasn’t aware of it then, but every time I re-read the things I kept and kept going back to, I realized that same small smile would visit my face. I always remembered after the final period in the final paragraph why I was loyal. I would tuck it safely back in place knowing where to look if I needed it. I came to see with maturity and wanderlust that it was this ability to connect that I liked. It was more than just smart, correct, competent writing. It was more than a wild, fictional tale. It was human connection and relate-ability.
So the morale of this story is, I guess I didn’t really define what I wanted to be until I was older. My parents raised me well; they asked what wanted to be when I grew up, like many parents. They promoted things I was interested in and encouraged me to put great effort forth as the only way to be rewarded, yet I didn’t really define what I wanted until much later in life. Because I wanted something very abstract that was hard to articulate.
Now ... I see the thing that came very natural to me was different forms of storytelling, and then my perspective was much clearer. I’m working on it. I’m harvesting that storyteller inside me ... the one that was always there. I hope you tag it, pin it, share it, post it or print it. I hope you tuck this away safely in your back pocket or drawer or email box, so that you can read it again when you need it the most.
With love & flare xx