I think it's time to write something. I gotta do it. I feel stuck. Well, I like stories. I pride myself on storytelling in all its forms. Let's talk about that
Storytelling is like a muscle; if you do not use it, you can lose it. When you use it a certain way, the muscle grows in that way; be it speaking, singing, moving, drawing, writing, acting, filmmaking, and pretty much every art.
We tell stories constantly nowadays. Branding and marketing for corporate entities have taken hold of the word for their financial advantage. The word is even used to describe the daily dumping of content onto Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. While this might have been a dream come true for some storytellers, for me it has blocked up my pores like pig slop on a sunny day.
I have all these expectations (I can feel them even now as I write and edit this) about the way my life and my day is supposed to go. When my friends and coworkers ask, "How's it going?" and "What are you up to this weekend?" I expect my response to tie back to my purpose of storytelling. If I cannot entertain them with an anecdote that also happens to highlight my creativity, my enthusiasm, or my identity, I overthink and get sucked out of the moment. Storytelling gets really hard with all that expectation stopping you. Actually, I can hear a voice saying:
"You are doing this to impress them. This isn't you. You can't actually draw or write or play music very well. Why are you talking about it like you're an expert? You're a facade waiting to be broken down. You're a privileged white male who, by contributing anything, will only make the problem worse. Give the rest of the world the space they deserve. No one wants to hear your story. Instead, you should be empowering others to tell their stories. Isn't that the noble thing to do? You think you're noble. Go do that, instead. In fact, you don't need to post this on Facebook; it's depressing and you're contributing to the slop."
But... But... Conscience! This is not the way I want to tell my story! Didn't you want to be a super-intelligent hero that defeats evil when you were a kid? Where did you even come from? Why are you talking to me this way?
"Because, idiot. No one else will tell you the hard stuff. Stop using the word 'me' because your opinion doesn't matter."
Suddenly, it's no longer about the storytelling. It's about me.
I'm not sharing this in order to be noble, Conscience. In fact, I don't really want to talk to anyone about this at all. I'd rather post it in secret. It's easier that way.
"Then why don't you? Imagine what your Ladyfriend will say when she reads this public post. She'll ask why you did it. You don't want to answer that question."
I do, though. I'm doing this because I'm sick of fighting you, the Resistance. Mr. Big-Dumb-Selfish-Resistance Man who things he can outmode creativity itself. I'm tired of proving myself to you who, by the way, is not me. And not me don't get no satisfaction. (Those are the lyrics, right?) I've been so focused on doing this for myself, for YOU, that I've forgotten a crucial fact: storytelling is a timeless, simple, contagious, inspiring, respectful, and universal way of cutting through the sludge and darkness of human existence. It pushes us onwards. It is not about the teller; it is about the story itself. It is not a secret. It is a shared experience. It is connection. So you shut your mouth, get your hand off my mouse, and let me click publish, you little cretin.
Gosh, okay. Where was I? Oh yeah, storytelling.