Storytelling: Am I?

Posted on May 25, 2011


What Makes a Writer?

A writer, by definition, is someone who writes. It’s that simple.

Dreamer v. Storyteller

The difference between a dreamer and a storyteller is that a storyteller finds an audience and tells a story. That story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A dreamer may dream up elaborate stories, but until the dreamer communicates that story to an audience, he (or she) is still just a dreamer.

Storyteller v. Author

Lots of people create stories. They make up little plays for the neighborhood kids to put on. They run role-playing game sessions. They tell shaggy dog stories at parties. They write notebook after notebook of poetry or fiction. Their full time jobs might be journalism, advertising, or have nothing at all to do with writing or editing. Those people are all storytellers. The only difference between them and published authors is the publishing part – and that’s easy to overcome, thanks to digital publishing.

But I Write Crap

Well, I have good news: You have to. Every creator must create crap. It’s how we learn. We create, we learn from the process and from critiques, we create better material, and the cycle repeats. Success in creative endeavors is as much a matter of perseverance as it is of talent. If you believe in your creations, you weather the criticisms and success finds you.

It Can’t Be That Easy

An author once said that if the first thing you think about in the morning is writing, and the last thing you think about at night is writing, and what you think about in every spare minute of your day is writing, then you’re meant to be a writer. I think that applies to every profession. It’s up to you to go from thinking to doing, from doing to finishing, and from finishing to publishing.

One thing I’ve learned from the last four years of unsteady employment is that there are a lot of thinkers and dreamers out there. They talk big, and usually at great length. The list of people who take plans and dreams to reality is much, much, shorter. Be one of those people.

Find yourself an audience and tell your stories.

Posted in: Self-Reference