Why I (Try To) Write (& Why It's So Hard)
Lemme tell you a secret.
Writing is hard. I've always loved writing but have never had the dedication or follow through for it. Ever since I was a kid (and got over my stint of plagiarizing other people's ideas for stories in grade 3) I have enjoyed creating stories. All my spelling class assignments turned into fantastical stories. I can't count how many books I have started or thought about writing. The situations I have related and played out in my head are countless.
Once I started blogging, and realized that I was able to write creatively about myself, I started developing my voice and true comfort with the medium. But with so many other competing priorities, it's always been hard to stick to it. Writing takes time, inspiration, bravery, vulnerability, and motivation. And that's just to write for myself - making it public requires all that and more.
Thank goodness for my sociology classes that showed me interesting and engaging real-life non fiction stories. It was an actual journey to realize that I just am not a huge fan of fiction. I recognize it's importance and the power in art - the countless stories that have inspired people and have helped them speak truth to power have a place in this world. The book I've read the most, and will continue to reread is The Giver by Lois Lowry - a young adult fiction book. I've read it every year probably since grade 3 or 4. I keep reading it mostly out of tradition, ritual, and at this point I think it's become something so much more than just a book for me - reading it now is more about me than about the book.
A key component of storytelling is listening to others’ stories. I try to consume storytelling in as many different way as possible. This not only helps me develop as a storyteller in my own right, but also as a human, a friend, citizen, peer, and ultimately a leader. And those things are inextricably linked.
What would friendship be without sharing stories between friends. What would love be without becoming enamoured with another person's story and devotion to share stories together? And conversely, what would storytelling be without love or passion? What would leadership do without listening to stories of needs and wants and inspiring others with a story of hope and progress?
So I'm committing myself to tell more stories. I want to tell stories about my identity. My experiences. My understanding of the world. I want to reflect on my work at the MS Society, my studies in data analytics, my pursuit for further professional and academic development. I want to consume and respond to other stories. I want to be mindful, critical, and creative in my writing. I need to.