I heard someone say that we are all storytellers, each with a story or two to tell. I have dozens of them in my head, but then the words don’t always come with ease with each one. There are those that we remember over and over again, be it for the happy memories they evoke or the pain they stir up inside. There are those which are in many ways still in progress — no ending as yet. And there are the hundred and one ideas that float by — like thought bubbles that disappear and reappear from time to time.
Sometimes we dream of writing a book like one of the books we just read. I wish. It takes a certain talent — much like singing takes a voice — and not everyone possesses the cohesive thought or hook that will keep our readers reading. There are stories that everyone has their own version of — like finding a love like no other, losing that love, and recovering from that loss — and it seems that those stories keep getting told and people still read them. So perhaps it’s not so much the novelty or uniqueness of the story itself, but of how it is actually told.
It takes a beginning, a middle and an end. Where do I begin? At the beginning, they say. Where is that beginning? Which story do I write and tell? I guess whichever is easiest.
Once upon a time there was a dreamer who fell in love.
A simple line brings me to different stories.
She was deep into a relationship that seemed to be going nowhere. A working law student, she found herself immersed in a job that took her to different parts of the country. It was just another job. She didn’t realize that she would find more than just the usual sights and sounds of the previous journeys she had taken. She would find someone who would touch her life then and almost twenty years later, but never really for keeps.
No editing. That doesn’t make sense except to me and whoever else knows the story. It can also go another way.
Years into a relationship that she just ended, she wasn’t quite ready to fall in love again so quickly. But the heart doesn’t have a firm grasp on the concept of time, more so when it feels it has found its match. She felt like she was reading her writing when he wrote. There was so much promise in a life together, even if it was 10,000 miles away from all that was familiar. Taking a chance on love meant taking a leap of faith and for some reason, she felt brave enough to take it this time around.
We can skip to the sad part and begin elsewhere.
She was blinded by her illusion of a family life that she thought wasn’t perfect but was comfortable. She didn’t even notice when things actually changed until things unfolded during therapy. Those gruelling and excruciating sessions which saw her peeling away her emotions in front of a stranger who was forcing her to be honest when she felt like she wanted to keep things private. Even from him.
People say that I have a talent for explaining stories and telling things in an easy to understand fashion. Ask my classmates in law school who liked the way I would explain complicated cases that made it easy for them to understand, be it on the blackboard or in the countless digests I wrote to sell for the cost of the photocopying. I have a handful of stories I can write a book about, or a series, but I find a lack of focus my biggest impediment. I envy the writers who can focus on a train of thought and develop that into chapters upon chapters and eventually come up with a novel. Perhaps I can do that one day — I actually think I can given the proper motivation and guidance.
In another lifetime, perhaps. Too many people would be worried about what I would write. (Ha! The curse of being associated with someone who has a penchant for wearing her feelings on her sleeve, and unabashedly revealing personal things in places like this blog.) That thought actually brought out a mischievous grin on my face…
Self-censorship can be quite a bane to a writer trying to bring life to a story. What could be worse than editing one’s self. There are times when I let my honesty get the better of me and at the end of even a well written post, I hit “private” instead of “publish” because I have revealed too much. Even with my brutal honesty here in my space, I still want to keep a semblance of privacy when it comes to my innermost thoughts and feelings. I guess that’s why there are pseudonyms. Yet another decision to be made. Do I write it as myself or do I hide under a monicker that will hide who I really am?
There are stories that are begging to be told — because bringing them out into the open serves a purpose beyond just putting a series of events into words, weaving them into one cohesive whole. Sometimes, a story serves a purpose and teaches a lesson after the fact, or helps one to put things into perspective as the story is being written. I feel compelled to write to unburden myself at times, and then when I go back to the words I had written, I see things differently from how they were when I was typing away.
Perhaps in time.
I am often cowed by the fact that I feel I don’t have a compelling enough story to write. At times I feel as though I am too mired in my feelings to actually write anything of interest. One day.. maybe..
You might yet get to read an actual story in a longer format from me. One or some of those stories might yet get to see the light of day and find themselves as part of a novel, an anthology, or just another blog post or series of blog posts here. Or maybe in another blog where I can be honest without fear of embarrassing myself in front of those who know who I am.
My story might yet get written and told.