It dawned on me this morning that perhaps there is a difference between being a writer and being a storyteller. I realize, it also depends on a person’s perspective and I saw this question in my mind as a new lesson for me to learn. I don’t believe it is necessarily relevant or applicable to everyone.
But for me it made sense and it’s shedding some light on things for me. In my mind, writing is the tool, the means through which I like to communicate and get a message across. What I’ve been noticing about my writing style, is that I think the style of message I like to get across are stories. And not just informative stories, but personable stories. Ah ha! I think. This must be because I have always been, and continue to be, a personable person in the way that I am very open and outgoing with others. Oh, and I love people in general.
And then, even more dawned on me…more light bulbs went off in my head and the picture became a lot more clear…
No wonder that since I first learned to read, write and speak as a little kid, I would tend to use a lot of words and get points across by telling a story. My own thoughts and even spoken words were always very descriptive. I still do that as an adult! Now I realize, this can be annoying at times, especially for perhaps those of you who get right to the point and use as few words as possible. I remember that back when I was crossing over into those teenage years, I would be telling my dad something and he would sometimes ask if I was getting to the point of what I wanted to tell him; I was telling him a story to communicate to him the point. It would be full of descriptions, events, and most importantly, the characters involved. Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a great listener and we love each other dearly. This is just one of those natural things in human communications. I find myself doing the same to others, especially my mom. I think I get the gift of storytelling from her.
One of the most powerful things that writing has been teaching me about myself is that even my imagination and thoughts come out as stories. It seems I even think and reason in story-format. Does that happen to you? We hear a lot of times that children have such imaginations…well, growing in age hasn’t changed that for me. If anything, my imagination seems only more vibrant and lively, audacious and out-of-this-world at the age of thirty than it did even at five and thirteen. I think this is great and I plan to keep nurturing my imagination to grow and flourish with every passing day and year. I’ve always wanted to not be afraid of getting older because I want to one day be that spunky obnoxious granny that still travels the world and does things contrary to society till the day she dies! Perhaps the imagination is what makes that possible. And here’s a thought…what if stories are one of the few things that are eternal? And yes, I believe there is more than one thing that is eternal 🙂 I wonder this because I love a phrase I once read: “In our lives we all want a story for tomorrow” and I stopped and thought, “or maybe a story for eternity!” Yeah…I know…I push the limits. I like to see it as being demanding; I tend to want it all!
Both things are great – writers and storytellers. I am finding that for me, considering the differences between the two when used as nouns and identifiers for those of us who love to write, can really be insightful. You see, in the past year, I re-discovered that I love to write! Or actually, there was finally room in me for it to come back to life. It seems that some people seem to like my writing too. And even if they didn’t and in light of those who won’t, I find that I love doing it just for myself. Yet what keeps me focused on that love of writing for myself, is learning about myself: my style of writing, my motivations for it, and plain and simple, what makes it fun for me. And that is, telling a story.
For me, storytelling is precious because it can connect people, share authentically, and touch deeply. That is how I want to be and live my life. This is why I am excited to be a storyteller.