Sharing Your Story


All of us have a story to tell. How we tell it is perhaps the difference between all of us.

Some of us choose to tell it through the art of writing. We mold our words into the frame of our story, crafting it through the fires of our knowledge and heart, and then release it onto the screen. Readers read these words long after they are written.

There are others who share their story through the art of speaking. They release the words from their lips in a torrent of imagery and sound, gathering their listeners close as the story unfolds immediately. There, the listeners, interact directly and immediately with the speaker, though not always, for with the technology of today, those that speak can amend their story into a myriad of forms – crafting it into a speech to be recorded and shared or transforming it into a film or play where the story is directly acted out and displayed through performance or recorded for later viewing.

Still others choose art. Crafting the materials into a form that fits what they’ve envisioned. The result could be anything – a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a piece of jewelry, a scarf, and so on and so forth. This form is elusive, quieter, and requires more thought and more concentration; even then, the viewer can never be completely certain that they’ve established the entire story, for what they see is viewed through the lens of their own story, making the interpretation of the art piece as complexly beautiful as the art itself.

And others may choose music. Molding and shaping sound to fit the story, to express it with or without a singer’s voice, and to envelop it with the emotions and thoughts of the story. Listeners come and feel the emotion of the songs, hear the words if there is any, or even if there isn’t any words, they can hear the beauty of the story within the realm of the composer’s and performer’s music.

And yet others take their art of writing, combine it with the art of speaking, adding a layer of art and music to their story, and then transforming it into a playable world, where the gamer can plant themselves in the shoes of the character, experiencing the story themselves.

There’s so many different ways to share your story, but finding the way that’s right for you is harder. For some, the simplest way is to simply share it with a friend or a loved one. For others, they seek to go further and so share it through the art of writing or through art itself. Each of us has our own unique gifts, and our own unique set of memories and experiences that mold and shape us. Sharing it is hard, for often we feel that no one will listen, that our stories are not good enough, or not capable of inspiring anything in anyone.

Brenda Ueland wrote a book called If You Want To Write, where she discusses this very topic in more depth. Here is an excerpt from her last chapter:

–if you want to write:

  1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
  2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it.  it is easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.
  3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
  4. Tackle anything you want to –novels, plays, anything.
  5. Don’t be afraid of writing bad stories.  To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
  6. Don’t fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past.  How I always suffered from this!  How I would regurgitate out of my memory (and still do) some nauseous little lumps of things I had written! But don’t do this. Go on to the next. And fight against this tendency which is much of it due not to splendid modesty, but a lack of self-respect.   We are too ready (women especially) not to stand by what we have said or done. Often it is a way of forestalling criticism, saying hurriedly: “I know it is awful!” before anyone else does.  Very bad and cowardly. It is so conceited and timid to be ashamed of one’s mistakes. Of course they are mistakes. Go on to the next.
  7. Try to discover your true,honest, untheoretical self.
  8. Don’t think of yourself as an intestinal tract and tangle of nerves in the skull, that will not work unless you drink coffee.  Think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers.  remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle!
  9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign.  It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it.Again I say, the only unfortunate people are the glib ones, immediately satisfied with their work. To them the ocean is only knee-deep.
  10. When discouraged, remember what Van Gogh said: “If you hear a voice within you saying: You are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.”
  11. Don’t be afraid of yourself when you write. Don’t check-rein yourself.  If you are afraid of being sentimental, say, for heaven’s sake be as sentimental as you can or feel like being!  Then you will probably pass through to the other side and slough off sentimentality because you understand it at last and really don’t care about it.
  12. Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers.  “I will not Reason & Compare,” said Blake; “my business is to Create.” Besides, sing you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.

And why should you do all these things? Why should we all use our creative power and write or paint or play music, or whatever it tells us to do?

Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and accumulation of objects and money. Because the best way to know the Truth or Beauty is to try to express it. And what is the purpose of existence Here or Yonder but to discover truth and beauty and express it, i.e., share it with others?

We all have stories to share, and it is okay to share it. That’s something I feel that people, including myself, often don’t do – give ourselves permission to share our stories. Recently a friend of mine reminded me that self-love is more than just eating healthy food and maybe exercising. It’s giving yourself permission to share your story, to feel your emotions, to seek to understand yourself, to take yourself out to eat because you have money to spare, to go play a game just because you want to and it feels good, to sing a song as loud as you can because it brings you joy, to dance around the room just because you can, to set boundaries that help you feel safe and comfortable, and to do what is best for you because you love you for who you are. We often forget that loving ourselves is just as important – if not more so – as loving other people. Once we love ourselves, it is easier to love another person.

And when I speak of love, I speak of respect, acceptance, kindness, listening, vulnerability, and empathy – all rolled into the act of loving. Sharing your story is part of loving yourself, and as hard as it can be at times – for we all have our own dark tales that are painful to bear – sharing it could very well end up helping you heal and at the same time, it may end up helping another person heal as well.

Categories: Blogging, WritingTags: , , , , , , ,

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