May 8th, 2020

Purple Flower Book - colorvary

Writer or Storyteller?

I've had some major struggles with creative self-doubt lately. Or more accurately... for the last few years? I worry I'm not smart enough to keep all of my ideas straight or execute them well. Not driven enough to keep up with other writers. Not bold enough to get my work noticed by readers. Or that I don't have it in me to deal with negative feedback, which every author eventually gets.

Some say when you're struggling you should try to remember why you came to your art in the first place. We all come to writing for different reasons. In a way, I fell into it. Starting with poetry that I didn't truly love. But quickly finding my way to telling the stories that were already filling up my head. If I think back to when my Great Aunt used to write down the stories I would tell her or when I used to vividly imagine new stories from picture books, it seems that I was always bursting with ideas. I always had a story in me. Or a hundred.

Even now, I don't consider myself a writer as much as I am a storyteller. I do love writing. It's the medium I have some talent in, and I enjoy it enough to keep working at it. To keep coming back to it again and again after every low point, every struggle with self-doubt. (And there are many.) But as much as I appreciate beautiful words strung together like poetry, that is not my main aim. Words can be powerful, and I love that about writing. I love leaving the reader with an emotional impact with the last few words of a chapter. Or the end of a book. But when it comes down to it, writing is just the way I tell my stories.

And those stories are not so much of grand adventures or epic fantasies, but of people. The yearnings of human beings to be understood and accepted. The journey to live and love, to follow their own path, to find their truth. I, too, enjoy some magic and adventure. After all, Harry Potter is what got me into reading. But what I care about most are the characters. About really getting into their heads, understanding their hearts and minds. That's why I write. That's why I read.

What draws you into stories?