Faster Than I Write It Down

It’s been a year since I started writing without a net here on Stories Now Told. Twelve months, 158 posts (including this one), one poem, and over 170,000 words later and I still have a notebook brimming with ideas for new stories to write. Which brings me to a recurring question I get, “Where does this stuff come from?”

Before I answer that questions though, I want to start with a more fundamental one, “Why?” As in, why did I start this, why do I write my stories down, why do I think anyone will read them? I tried to answer that question in the very first post titled “Stories Should Be Told.” We all have stories that need sharing. It’s not just that I’m bold (or egotistical) enough to think someone cares enough to listen., it’s that I truly believe we should all share our stories. From the mundane to the unusual, our stories give others insight into who we are.

Now, on to, “Where does this stuff come from?” I often answer that question (and its variations) with, “It’s just life. The life going on around me,” but I don’t think that’s what the questioner is usually getting at. I don;t think so because the next comment is usually something along the lines of, “Yeah, but, you always have this twist on it, a different way of looking at it.”

Maybe, but here’s the real secret. It’s not that I pay more attention, it’s not that I care more, and it’s not even that I can put a few words together in a way that sounds nice. It’s that I simply tell my stories. That’s it. I choose to share my stories and there is nothing special beyond that.

Even though it’s simple, it’s also, believe it or not, sometimes exhausting. That’s why I’m going to take a short break and recharge a bit. This is a 24/7 job on top of my actual paying job (though if anyone wants to pay me to write or tell stories, just contact me, please). For the three people a short break bothers, I mean short, as in a week maybe. I probably won’t be as stringent about my schedule after that break, which also means I might post more than three times a week occasionally.

Oh, you wonder how this could possibly be a 24/7 job? Telling a story is only a part of it, realizing a really good story is happening around you and needs to be recorded is another. It’s kind of how a photographer should always carry a camera in case the perfect shot presents itself. Except in my case, I have to note details and attempt to remember the mood, setting, and everything else. Then I have craft it in to a story worth telling.

Want to know the real real secret though? It’s not me, it’s you. Every day, you do something funny or amazing. Every day you shed a tear of sorrow or throw your arms high in joy. Every day you affect the world around you for better or worse and leave you mark upon all you meet. Every day you make good and bad choices. Every day you inspire. Every day you live out a story that needs to be told, and you do it faster than I write it down.

© Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Leighton Brown is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information, please see the Copyright page.

About leighton

I could be considered a true Renaissance Man after having a long and storied (seriously, people actually tell stories about it) college experience and varied careers. I am also a shameless self-promoter (who did you think was writing this anyway?) who is prone to flights of fancy, an abundance of passion on any given subject, ,obsessive behavior, spontaneous storytelling (whether anyone listens or not), and making parenthetical references. I would also be thrilled if I heard someone use the word "raconteur" to describe me.
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