EVERY STORY HAS A PLACE IT BELONGS. Lucky, the writer content to help it find its way.
Not every story needs to be turned into a book. Believing it does is the leading cause of death among stories.
Some stories belong in an article, a blog post, an email between two people. Some go in a letter, a note, a text.
“Same thing happened to me in 2007. I was devastated.” There’s MAGIC in those words. Maybe someday the telling of that story will turn into something bigger. but not necessarily more satisfying. Nothing beats the feeling of the right words, rightly placed. Search for affirmation all you want, but nothing brings it like this, apples of gold.
Some stories are meant to be spoken, maybe to a group, maybe over coffee/tea with one other person, when it spills out unplanned and you know, in that moment, it was just the right thing.
Some stories arrive and take flight again so quickly we barely notice. Something happens and we turn around and tell about it. But some we hold a long time, waiting, and the story we end up writing is not the same story we would have written at first. The waiting is important and it’s not non-writing time. Unseen melding goes on in the background while we scramble eggs, raise children, consider hair color, live life.
A faithful writer masters the art of surrender – of format, of timing, of strategies – and pays attention. The story that’s been given must get to its home and we don’t want to make a wrong turn.
Neither fear of exposure nor fear of invisibility should be allowed in the driver’s seat. My experience with both has been very poor indeed. One drives too slowly, the other too recklessly. They have no track record for getting anything to its rightful destination. They should have their licenses revoked.
I was not raised to work in a creative sphere and had to learn from scratch in adulthood. I worry these days that creativity is taking a back seat to urgency, to the pressure to generate product, to make a name. I worry about writers feeling like failures because they haven’t attained some goal measurable only by numbers, which are a tool but can be a major distraction from the care and feeding of that with which we’ve been entrusted.
I believe every story has a place it belongs. Lucky, the writer content to play delivery person.