I’d been born a storyteller. Fearless. Impassioned. Believing that it was just as easy to write a story as it was to read one. But then…
I fell in love with a more ambitious, committed writer. Praising a story became more important than writing one.
I got caught up in the scholarly race of college. Analyzing literature became more important than creating it.
I landed a job in academic library administration. Managing the collection became more important than adding to it.
I built a series of website and copywriting businesses. Marketing strategy became more important than getting to the core of the stories I was always meant to tell.
For almost half my life, I nudged my stories at the back of the line.
I told the stories I felt I was supposed to tell. The stories that served and supported others. The stories that seemed useful. The stories that I prayed would be practical and profitable.
Funny. Very few of those stories were worth a damn.
Writing for the sake of writing. Writing for pleasure, passion, expression… That was a nice hobby, confined to the journal page. It seemed like the greatest decadence, a suspect and selfish act, to craft stories of my own. Growing up, it seemed, meant putting aside the stories that really mattered to me.
I know there are countless creative women - and men - who stand beside me and say “me too.” I know that I am amongst the fortunate who has found her voice and can say aloud “not any more.”
Bring on the selfishness, bring on the devotion, bring on the act of being in service to the page - even when someone hangs on my elbow and reminds me that I need to keep my mind on other stories too. If I’m really a storyteller, I can balance and juggle and spin all these tales together into work that makes life sing.
... And so can you. I believe that every strong story told for the greater good begins with devotion to what you really need to say - it's the first step to telling a story that connects.