WHAT WE TELL OURSELVES
Being a storyteller comes with its own set of perils, whether you practice it in writing or in life.
There is the memoirist trying to make sense of what happened, the fiction creator painting a beautiful picture with words of how it could be, and the playwright orchestrating characters and scenes in real-time.
As humans, we do the same thing. We craft a narrative that strikes a balance between the actuality of our brains and our hearts.
We edit, edit, edit, revise.
What’s important is that we discern whether or not the story we tell ourselves is true enough to tell others. Given that memory is faulty and our egos get in the way sometimes, it’s easier to cast someone else as the villain rather than shine the spotlight on ourselves.
Our life’s work as writers and humans is to find the path where the words we tell ourselves and the words we tell others are in alignment. Our people want the true story of the life we are living…not a forward-thinking fiction or a wistful re-creation.
WHAT TO DO
We are selling a story that we want others to buy. So, how do we show up for ourselves and others in an authentic way that shines through in our daily work? Here are a few things to ask yourself:
Is it true? Of course, the story you are telling is first a recounting of your very own experiences. But ask: Whose perspective is missing? Is what you are telling yourself a chance for you to speak your truth or to tell a true story?
Is it authentic? Reflect on what you are saying through the lens of your closest friend. Would they call you out on your spin? If you notice you are changing the story to fit someone else’s narrative, your work may need some adjusting.
Is it of value? Is what you have to say something another human might need or could learn from? The more true and authentic the story you tell yourself, the more likely it is that it will resonate with others.
HOW TO DO IT
Trying something new requires intentional analysis, small steps, and a rhythm for it to become practice.
Tell a story - First, say to yourself the words that need to be said. Write it down in your journal. Add a chapter to your book. Make a video. Leave yourself a long detailed voice memo on your phone.
Reflect - Next, think about the words you are telling yourself. Is there anything you are leaving out? Why?
Adjust - Telling the truth to yourself is the only path forward in writing and life. If you notice roadblocks, it might be a result of your unwillingness to tell the whole story. Pay attention to the barriers and adjust accordingly.
HOW TO USE IT
You can become more intentional in writing and life by putting your learning into practice.
One. Tell the whole story. Don’t leave anything out. Sometimes this is best done over time by journaling or using Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages.
Two. Write from your heart. Sometimes our minds take over and we leave out the parts that hurt. Push into your emotions and don’t let your mind stop you from exploring the depths of your story.
Three. Share only when necessary. Don’t feel pressured by yourself or others to share your story. Finding your own authenticity will have ripple effects in the rest of your life.
Do you need a guide to help you with your work #inwritingandlife?
I offer coaching packages to help you get started, get organized, create a plan to use your words, and put it into practice.