In high school I really didn't get it.
I liked to read, but I didn't understand why we had to pick it all apart. I just liked reading a good story. Why did I need to sit and examine a character's motives? Why pick apart all the hidden meanings that the author was trying to convey? How was I supposed to know what the author meant? Why did it even matter? Couldn't I just read a good story and simply enjoy it for what it was?
But now I'm older and have lots more life experience. I've read, studied and listened to others talking about writing and story telling. For two years I've been writing articles and blogs about this thing I do. I'm getting it now. And it's been eye-opening.
So we've been talking this month about this scary new year we're entering into. Scary, because of what we've already been experiencing in 2020. Who knows what's in store for us in 2021? Perhaps more of the same. Perhaps something much worse. Perhaps nothing.
We know what to do when the fear and dread stops us in our tracks. We know how to un-paralyze ourselves and get that pony riding again.
It's important becaue we are living out a story every day. We are in the middle of our own story. Folks around us are living out their stories. And all those stories crash into and overlap each other ...
Art imitates life.
Is somebody writing all this down?
Go to a writing workshop and they talk about flawed characters that rise up to meet their challenges, conflict, and resolution.
Look at real life and what do you see? Flawed people rising up to meet life's challenges, conflict, and resolution.
Sometimes in real life, those flawed people succumb to the challenges life throws at them and they are defeated.
That can happen in stories, too. Not every story has a happy ending.
In the The Grand Illusion article series I encouraged artists to get better at their craft by observing real-life around them. Learn to really see an object and you'll be able to draw it.
Writers can do the same thing.
Everyday, all around, playing out right before your eyes, are dramas, comedies, and adventures of all kinds. Learn to observe and pay close attention to the real-life characters and stories around you and you'll be better able to write them.
We're all kind of bracing for this new year, but who knows? Maybe somebody will write someone's story down who overcame some terrible tradgedy. Maybe in fifty years, we'll have another pandemic and people will be able to read the stories of the 2020 pandemic and learn how we dealt with it. Didn't we look back at the 1918 pandemic to see how it went with those folks?
Because when stories are written down, somebody, somewhere, sometime will read them. And when reading begins, minds become engaged ...
Discouraged people find encouragement.
They'll get new information and learn and grow.
They'll find out that others have traveled the road they're on and they'll find community and belonging.
They'll avoid mistakes and terrible consequences by heeding the warnings of others who made poor decisions.
For all the reasons above and much more, what creatives do everyday is very important! So while you're facing this upcoming, uncertain year during these unusual times, remember that what you're about everyday is important and don't stop doing it.
The world needs you. Because life imitates art!