The Art of Storytelling

I’ve been writing for 20 years.

I always knew I wanted writing to be involved in my life, but up until high school, I didn’t believe that I would actually make a career out of it because becoming a successful writer, especially back when I first considering it was a bit difficult.* So I always had a “proper” career in mind (pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, psychologist), but, I was a writer.

I am a writer.

Even after deciding to really do it and putting the medical stuff aside*, I would still also say, I want to be a writer instead of saying I am a writer, because for the longest time I believed that to be a writer, I had to be published by a big publishing house, book on the New York Times best sellers list and thousands or even millions of people reading your work.

As long as I put pen to paper or type on a keyboard, I am a writer.

With that being said, when it comes to my fiction work, because fiction is what I want to write, I haven’t placed myself in one category and I’m not going to because there are a variety of stories I want to tell, and have been wanting to tell for the last 20 years.

However, that is where we are now. I came up with a lot of my ideas when I was in middle school, high school and college, and many of these ideas have evolved and mutated beyond what they initally were, but, even with their evolution, now being 31 years old, do I still want to tell these stories? Is my constant shifting and changing of a lot of these stories due to growing older, gaining more experience and living life a bit more as a self-sufficient** adult instead of a dependant child or is it now because I no longer can relate to the story?

What kind of stories do I want to tell? I still lean on the old ideas because deep in my heart I still believe in them, but do I still want to tell those stories? On the flip side, I am at a point in my life where coming up with new stories to tell has stagnanted a bit because my life admittedly is a bit stagnant. I work jobs that don’t really stimulate my creative muscles, my current position keeps me in my house so I’m not getting out as much as I would working in another location*** and I’m not really doing anything – no new friends, no parties, not of the stuff that I would occasionally**** do back home. I’m inside, tending to plants, eating, playing video games, watching YouTube and simply existing. Even on the rare occasions I get out, I’m not exposed to novel things and it’s very quick and easy for me to get back into a rut.

So what kind of stories do I want to tell? Do I still want to do space epics? A fictionalized version of the final years of my 20s leading into my washed 30s? Sinister neighbors and family members? Or do I want to tell stories about what I’m going through currently with being a bit older, navigating life in a new city away from my family and friends, working another job that drains me of vitality?

Time will tell, I suppose. I recently pulled out all of my old handwritten works to look back through some of them. I can definitely evolve some of those works. The stories still have power and potential. Maybe this is more about getting out of this extended rut than anything. That might prove a bit harder now because it isn’t just me. I have to find the stories again.

*I am also prone to taking the easy way out and choosing the path of least resistance. I am working on that.

**As self-sufficient as one can be while living with their parents rent free.

***My car also said fuck you for leaving your check engine light on for two years. I’m in the market for a new one so I can at least go to the library.

****I was a homebody at home. I still had options. Here, not so much. In addition to it being a smaller city, from what my fiance has told me, they shoot a lot around here. The news confirms this.

Featured photo by Reetha Ferguson, give her a follow on Instagram.