The Story in You

I admit I get a little sad when people say “I don’t know what to write about.”

They shrug their shoulders and sigh as if writing is a talent only given to a select few and somehow they’ve been overlooked.  It’s not that they struggle through writer’s block or stumble upon a drought in creativity.  It’s that they don’t try to write at all simply because “they don’t have a story to tell.”

At least that’s what most of my friends and family told me as to why they wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but couldn’t…

But over the years as I’ve gotten the chance to connect with more people (particularly writers), I’ve come to learn something:

Everyone has a story.

Whether it’s a biography, a scene birthed from imagination, or a funny thing that happened on the way to the grocery store, everyone has a story to tell.  Even how you cooked breakfast this morning could somehow become a story (though, if you’re like me in cooking skills, said story may turn into a comedy.)  Most people think that you need to be an equivalent to Shakespeare to tell a story, but the truth is story comes in all kinds of forms (speech, writing, visual art, music, drama, etc.) and can be shared across a multitude of platforms.

What’s sad to me is that too many people are silenced from telling their stories because of discouragement.  Maybe it’s because someone said you were a terrible writer or artist.  Maybe it’s because someone received your art and gave it a negative review.  Don’t get me wrong-I think there are some stories that really aren’t that great and maybe shouldn’t be told (i.e., because they’re inappropriate for the audience.)  But it saddens me to see people with good, inspiring stories (whether fiction or non-fiction) who keep silent because of what someone else has said.

A story doesn’t have to be brilliant to be heard.  A story doesn’t have to be amazing to be inspiring.  A story just simply needs to be told-and it’s up to us to tell it.