“Controlling the story of your past — recording and exhausting it — that skill might allow us to move into the future and write that story. Instead of letting life just happen, we could outline our own personal plot. We’ll learn the craft we’ll need to accept that responsibility. We’ll develop our ability to imagine in finer and finer detail. We can more exactly focus on what we want to accomplish, to attain, to become…If nothing else, maybe learning how to write will force us to take a closer look at everything, to really see it–if only in order to reproduce it on a page…Or maybe…just maybe this whole process is our training wheels toward something bigger. If we can reflect and know our lives, we might stay awake and shape our futures.” (Chuck Palahniuk, Stranger than Fiction, 37-38)
Storytelling is an elusive art form. It’s fascinating. It’s challenging, but when done well, it seems to simple. It’s something I want so badly to master that somehow always seems to slip between my fingers. I can tell other people’s stories. I love reading and hearing new stories. And once in awhile, I can land a punch line just right to know I’ve woven a together a little story about my life rather well.
I’m trying to absorb as many stories as I can, through movies, TV shows, books, music, comedy, articles and most importantly, through people. In a very naive way, I hope that someday, storytelling will engulf me — that someday, it’ll seep through my veins and pulsate through my heart like it was the most natural thing in the world. Storytelling itself is natural, but I suspect that doing it well will take a lifetime of practice.
We’ll see how the process goes. For now, I have much to learn.