Writing a story a day is a mad, marvelous mission. Time constraints and the very real limitations on creative energies are valid concerns that might make you quit before you begin. Another reason to think twice about asking your creative impulses to take the shape of something that can be fully expressed within a twenty-four hour period: the strong stories often want to take a lot longer to be conceived, born, and debuted in this strange, complex world.
After two months of shaping and sharing these stories, I have finally started to recognize a story that needs to germinate. It would be a disservice to the narrative, the reader, and to me as a writer to force a certain kind of story to sing and perform before it can even cry out its own name.
When you force yourself to work on a deadline, however, it’s nearly impossible to abandon a story that’s three quarters written - especially if it took more than the hour you told it that it deserved.
Today, I wrestled with a story for a couple of hours only recognized that we both needed a rest when it bloomed past the 800 word mark. In a few days, I might be able to tell you if it was a lost cause journal entry with delusions of grandeur or if it’s something real and important that wants to reach beyond the scope of #365StrongStories.
How can you tell if your story needs to be nurtured in secret or if needs to be shoved (lovingly) into the light?
First, follow Brene Brown’s wisdom: is the story intimate or is it vulnerable?
Is the story full of gory details that you don’t want to describe or defend in conversation? That’s too intimate to share.
Or do you feel brave and proud and just the right amount of scared? That’s vulnerability and that’s at the core of every strong story.
And second, ask yourself whether it is your story to tell. If neither intimacy or vulnerability seem relevant to the equation, your story might be asking you to dive deeper or revisit it when you’ve really got something to say.
Sticky subjects that might stink of shame
The story I’m not ready to tell is about parent shaming. I’m very much inspired by Mercedes Samudio’s #EndParentShame work and I was triggered by an exchange I saw in a Facebook group today. It’s such an important topic that we need to start talking about across our communities.
Thing is, I felt nauseated rather than exhilarated as my fingers flew across the keyboard. I think I was more of a voyeur than an ethical memoirist describing her experiences.
All of those are signs that I’m sharing the wrong details about the wrong aspect of a greater truth. You, my story, and my integrity as a storyteller deserve more.
If it’s a strong story, it will wait.
It's my mission to help you discover and tell the strong stories that matter to you, your audience, and your business. Learn more about the You, Your Stories, and Your Audience eCourse.