Chained to a Task Worth Telling
There’s something about just listening to people’s lives and transforming them into entertaining stories. Without knowing it, I have been practically doing this to people all of my life. I’ll take real life situations in the news and media, eavesdrop on strangers, and watch people as they live their lives as passersby, but it wasn’t until this year when I brought myself up close and personal into the lives of my characters that I started to feel as if I held this overwhelming and slightly unwanted power that allows me to document people’s lives onto paper.
As a storyteller, these various individuals from all walks of life have inspired me to transcribe anything from short blog posts to long novels. They give me permission to enter into their minds and their inner most thoughts. It’s as if I was granted the power to interfere with their set paths and become a part of the story that they have yet to see neatly bundled up all at once. It’s not just about taking a few random words and throwing them together in any old order, but more like how a talented painter paints a portrait of someone with many marks and blemishes along the contours of their face, and then turns the final image into an entirely pleasant glimpse into the person’s soul.
I’m not saying that I have evolved into some writer’s version of Rembrandt, but I do believe there is a bit of weight that I have experienced with this epic undertaking of writing about people’s lives. Writing has manifested itself as a terrible burden as well as a wonderful gift coexisting in a world where happiness is undefined. It has buried itself deep enough inside my heart that I can’t let the cumbersome practice go, yet it has expanded my imagination and opened up my mind to new and elaborate situations every day. I end up looking for answers, creating new legends and telling people’s stories as I type a carefully thought out combination of letters and symbols onto my computer’s keyboard.