Telling Stories

There is something about telling stories that gets my heart racing. It's always been like that for me. I remember my parents bought me the first generation Apple computer way back in the day. Even with the computer turned off, I would pretend to type because the sound of my fingers on the keys made my heart pump a little faster.

Sometimes I struggle with what to write next. Sometimes I struggle with finding a balance between productivity and living my life. Life is a balancing act. I no longer feel the necessity to produce blindly just because I think I should. Rather, I work when I feel the story flowing like a river inside me. If it isn't flowing freely, and deep, I let it go and try to enjoy the small moments of my life without worrying about how many pages I wrote in a day or a week or a month. Worrying will not make the story come alive any faster anyhow.

With that said, I've also learned that writing isn't about imposing my set ideas onto a page. It's about creating a character who could be standing there right now next to you or to me. That person needs to be real - three dimensional and whole. And that person must have flaws and gifts just like the rest of us. If I do my job in creating a character who is as real as you or me, then I can let the character roam freely anywhere within my imagination. That's when my job as a writer changes from creating to observing. That's when I really start telling stories - when I let my characters to live their lives the way they want to. Because sometimes my characters don't say what I would say or do what I would do if I were put in the same situation. If I only wrote stories and characters who were just like me, I'd be journaling, not creating.

Many people have asked me if my characters are like me. My answer is always yes and no. Sure, my characters sometimes possess certtain attributes that resemble me. Sometimes they possess one of my idiosyncracies or my flaws or personality traits but they are their own creations unto themselves.

My job as a writer is to write what I see. Sometimes I just have to go deep within myself to see the story unfold. And that is when I am truly in my happy place.

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