What’s Your Story?
There is something strangely wonderful that happens to us when someone shares his or her story. Especially when the person telling the story really takes you there with them, wherever that may be. We all have that favorite book, movie; song or past story told by someone we love that conjures that magic inside of us. It’s a story that drives us to relate, demands our curiosity and requires our imagination to be present. Our emotions can go from elation, to laughter and surprise and suddenly be shifted to stomach dropping, breathe holding, tear filled eyes within minutes. Yes that funny little thing happening to us is quite simply creative connection. When one soul reaches out and somehow touches, pierces and even marks ours. In most cases we are more than okay with it, in fact we often outright welcome it.
Creative connection while beautiful isn’t where the journey begins. Each of us has a powerful message that lies within and only becomes our story to share when we want to. I don’t mean that type of want to that is passive like wanting to go to the grocery store or gym, but of a compelling urge that says, “This hasn’t all happened for me to be kept stored away it has a purpose”. Yes, that sort of want to (you know what I’m talking about) that you can’t ignore. When this want appears don’t shoo it away or cramp it up with fears. You also equally don’t want to become the blubbering fool that everyone runs from because of your lack of timing as well as your abundance of verbal vomit. None of these options will do your story justice. So where do you begin?
While I may not be the expert on the story telling process I can share one of the best methods I’ve discovered to aid in unraveling a story and that begins with finding one or a few authors, musicians, or character that speak to you. Then listen. Does their story flow chronologically or do they choose to tell you only a piece of the story and leave you wondering for more? Is it vivid with imagery or is it abstract and emotional? How does it make you feel once you finished listening? Is this the same emotion you want your story to elicit? Once you’ve found a style that fits your story then begin to write your story down. Don’t worry about the grammatical errors or flow just yet, only write. This my dear is the “grunt stage” of the process, its also the crap sifting stage as well. In the words of one of my favorite authors Anne Lamotte you need a few “Shitty rough drafts” (pardon the French) before you land on the right one. If you’re able to practice this skill of listening, extracting, and applying it can help cut through a torrent of frustrations in your creative process and will help you find your personal style much more efficiently.
Last but not least you must find a way to share your story. Timing is important but it should never be a paralyzer. Timing is your friend. Set a time or if you’re the impetuous type wait your turn. Timing like the process we talked about above requires you to listen. When you listen you will recognize the moment, that unmistakable offering that says now. It is then you must do it. Remember there is no room for fear and regret when you have a purpose to share and that purpose is to TELL your story not withhold it. Platforms are equally as important in sharing your story, whether it is electronic, in a live public platform with an audience, or one on one with someone you want to share with the key is to decide the best option for your story. Maybe you will do all three, but tied to that decision is the when of it and the how of it. Set a date. Pick the platform. Tell your story. It seems simple, but it requires the remedy of loving yourself enough to surrender the fears and control that keep hitting the “I’ll Try” button. It’s a difficult battle to remedy. I mean think about it. How many times have you battled you and won? But, my God is it worth the surrender, not only for you but also for others.
I titled this blog Creative Warriors because I earnestly believe that those who have paved the path before us in creative connection had to be brave enough to open up their lives, face their inner demons and fears and fight against the walls of solitude. There is a verse that I love and it says “Confess your faults one to another that you might be healed”. -James 5:16. Confession heals the soul by letting others in to a personal space that was once hidden. And you just might find that someone else will look back at you when your done and say “Me too”. That’s the wonder of creative connection. I believe you are a Creative Warrior who has an incredible story waiting to be told, and listened to. It’s your time to touch, pierce and mark someone else’s soul and in turn who knows you may find a little healing in it for you.