How to Write a Story

Sometimes writing a story, even for those who write often, can come to a stand-still. The mind freezes. The pen hovers over the paper. Nothing happens. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. What do you do? Especially if there is a deadline, and the writing must be finished? Obviously, that pen in hand can form words onto the paper. So why not just make it move? Curling out the letters, spelling out the words? Telling the story? Why not? Maybe, just maybe, it's because the mind that forms the story thinks that story will not be good. Thought after thought, reason after reason, picture after picture, and still none of it is an improvement to the mind. The mind just hurts, trying to reconcile to the story. The pen hovers. Then scribbles. Jagged, frustrated, wordless lines and swirls. Then the pen is set aside, the paper pushed away, and the author crosses their arms and stares off. The sun reaches through a window, leafy branches make shifting patterns across the table. The scribbled paper slips off the edge of the table with a sigh, then clicks on the wood floor and lies flat. Still, nothing picture perfect comes to mind. No feeling, translated to words, seems like worthwhile, storytelling material. The author, uninspired, sighs. Who were they, anyway, to write a story? There's a lot of other things they could do besides writing a story. And who would actually want to read their story? Everyone's attention-span is shortened, right? In this age of constant scene changes, where TV shows swap camera angels every two seconds or less, who would care to hold paper in hand and actually digest a story, word for word, verbal description after verbal description? Let alone a story written by me. But wait. Maybe there's more to storytelling than just trying to please the general public. Just maybe. Maybe the story will only appeal to a few, but those few will be just the kind of people you would want to read your story. Because, obviously, they are in touch with what really matters. And what really matters? What really matters is time. Time to look around, to soak in and observe the world around. The ground we stand on, the sky we stand under, far far above, the food we eat, the sounds we hear, the nature around that moves so slow but wins the race. How marvelous, more than all that, is the creativity that stems from observing it all. Creativity that writes a story. Creativity that reads the story, and imagines the story as it flows. But still, still, the pen lays still on the table. The author still has their arms crossed. Still. So story telling is not to please the general public, but it might please a few. It might. So pleasing the few is not the goal either. It's just a bonus, not exactly a goal. Not THE goal. So why? Why tell a story? Why write it? What is the goal? What happens when you write a good story? How do you feel? Something inside you tells you the story is good, and you don't really care how you know it is good, you just celebrate. You feel centered. Grounded. You wrote a story, and it was good. Bring it. That's why. You write because you, beautiful, valuable, intrinsic you, are in that story. You are in that story, and when you write that story, you, in your brilliant image, will be revealed to yourself even more. So if you feel your story will not be good, then just write a not-so-good story. Even though it sounds gross, the best way I can think of to describe it is, just brain vomit. You will surprise yourself.

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