What do you crave? Company? Solitude? The Great Outdoors? Certain foods? I have an awful sweet-tooth, every single day of my life, regardless of how healthy my diet is or how fit I am, or even now that I am Estrogen-less. I am a Cookie Monster. If it’s sweet, yeah, babeee. And peaches…aaah, peaches in season! Don’t get me going.
But there is Universal Craving, and it’s for STORIES. Yes, stories. Stories of love, adventure, tragedy, spiritual journey, friendship; all kinds of stories. They feed our souls. Stories broaden our understanding, our awe, of Life and Humanity. Stories speak to us when other modes can’t reach us. Stories let us experience things we’d never know or feel – and often things we would never WANT to know. Being chased down by wolves or large, creepy Black Riders who breathe like a case of swollen adenoids. Or a hero doing the chasing, to save a beloved child abducted by international Villains of Evil Intent.
Really, I’ll pass on either of those in real life — but reading about them or seeing them on the Big Screen satisfies something deep in my mind, my imagination, my soul. It’s my kind of adrenaline-rush in virtual form. Stories help me grow. And I’ll just be you love them too. Don’cha?
Joseph Campbell, who wrote The Hero with a Thosand Faces and The Power of Myth [even though some of his ideas were a bit strange, ie, based a bit too much on Jungian psychology/dream states for my taste] showed in his research that Story is universal — he called it the MONOMYTH — the love of it, the cultural creation of them, and certain worldwide themes. The Hero’s Quest. The Worldwide Flood. Creation. God’s Son. Sacrifice. Love, baby, LOVE.
Of course, these themes vary widely among global cultures and the imagery, the messages, may be totally lost on those not of that culture or familiar with it; just try reading some of the Creation Stories associated with Native American groups, or a few Hindu tales.
But every people group and culture in the world has Story. Everyone loves a good tale — true or magical, love or loveless, plodding or adventuresome.
Recently, I shared the gist of my Fantasy WIP with an older friend in my weights class. She’d mentioned meeting certain local authors (many of whom I know) and the topic ran to e-books, then to how easy they are to buy — which of course ran straight to me mentioning that I am a writer. Or specifically, a “wannabe-author.” Which led to “what I write” which led to me describing my current project to this nice lady. What made it spiritual, what made it different.
Her eyes lit up at once. She handed me a scrap of paper and a pen (we carry those around the gym with us to record our weight workouts). “Write down the title so I can get it on amazon!”
“Oh…uh…actually,” I had to confess. “It’s not quite done. I don’t have it up there, er, yet. I’ve had this sort ‘stuck’ thing going on with my writing…”
The light in her eyeballs dimmed. “Oh. Ok. Well, when you do…” she kindly concluded. And moved on as I realized: I had disappointed her, which is not a Good Thing for a writer/author to do. Don’t talk and not deliver! Don’t build the drama, only to kill the audience with failed expectations!
Here was the big build-up of how marvelous, how fascinating my story was! It’s not like blah-blah novel, it’s unique!
And I haven’t finished it…yet. YET.
So I have a new resolution — two really. One is to stop working on my so-called online business, my photography to sell it. It’s been a nice diversion for the past 3-some years, but hasn’t turned a real profit. We in business know what that means, right? My product isn’t in demand, my marketing strategies aren’t reaching a buyer, blahbahblahhhhhahahhaa.Wahhhh.
And each time I describe my stories — just did it again yesterday, in fact, with the romantic-suspense I need to edit completely and get out there — I realize that the light in the listener’s eyes is HUNGER. Of the Story kind.
And they really don’t care about my excuses; they just want to read a good story, like NOW.
I am called, whether it’s woo-woo or not, to write a story…or two. Or dozen. Or however many. I don’t know why. Wired, if you will, to craft stories.They may not be perfect. They may not be the True Voice of God in the Universe…though it’s possible that God may speak through the faulty vessel of my imagination in some way. Otherwise, why would I torture myself with this…thing…this STORY??
Enough already. Get it done — the entire First Draft! Then let it rest a short while and Edit the Thing. Then have someone else read it and suggest edits.
And then, get Smashwords, put it on Amazon, get some printed and schedule signings. Network with other authors.
Share the feast with readers. These days, it’s truly IS a Moveable Feast.