I didn’t grow up a storyteller.
I didn’t need to because I really didn’t learn how to lie well until I was about 25. Before then (like most kids needed to) I didn’t need to craft wild stories to hide my disagreeable choices because for the most part, I was a rule follower.
Any stories I told were ones that were real and I wasn’t even good at exaggerating so, you can imagine, most of them fell flat.
You know what happened last night?
Suddenly all eyes in the group are on me.
Well (nervously) when she was driving me home this song came on the radio…
I’d try to make it interesting.
I’d try to get people to listen to me past the first sentence.
But so much of the time I was either boring, didn’t know how to explain myself the right way, or got interrupted by someone else in the group who had something more fun to talk about.
I’d like to believe since high school I’ve gained a little ground in the storytelling arena.
I’m a mother so by trade I’m forced to create elaborate stories out of unicorns, daisies and butterflies in fields of freshly fallen snow, or meadows, or a castle terrace. And now I’m a writer so I’m working on crafting words together to make up interesting stories that people want to read.
I’m pretty sure I’m getting better.
But only because of necessity and practice.
There have been some periods in the little lives of my daughters when they have wanted a DIFFERENT story EVERY night for months. I’m forced to be creative. And with writing I set out 2 1/2 years ago to begin a blog (and then somewhere along the line decided to write a book). Blogging has given me daily practice in attempting to produce something that resonates with others.
Back in high school, after embarrassing myself enough times in groups, I just stopped telling stories. I laughed at other people’s stories but I faded into the laughter of everyone else. I didn’t know that I just needed a little more practice.
Writing this book has put a lot of things into stark perspective: I’ve been practicing but I’m far from where I need to be.
So I’m going to keep practicing on all of you, if you don’t mind.
I promise I’ll try to be more interesting than what I heard on the radio last night.
What do you need to get better at? Are you a storyteller?