I suffer from what some would call arrested development, Peter Pan syndrome, or pretty much an unwillingness to grow up. In some ways this condition is a hindrance, like when I am in serious situations, or having to deal with the lovely woman who was lucky / unlucky enough to marry me. On the plus side, how I am works very well in my job as a storyteller. I am able to connect with audiences filled with young children mostly because I am on the same wavelength as them. I think like a kid so I am very good at giving them what they want. This goes not only for the way I perform but also the stories I tell.
When I find stories to perform, I look for ones that will thrill me and entertain me. If a story makes me smile or get excited, I know that it will make my audience happy as well. I love a good story and those are the only kind I will tell. I do this mostly because I want to entertain my audience but also because I want to entertain myself. I have to tell these stories, and if it is not fun for me to tell them, it will not be fun for kids to hear them.
The same goes for writing stories. When I write, I want to create something that is just as fun for me to tell as it is for others to listen. I have been blessed with a very vivid (and slightly out there) imagination so I try to come up with tales that take full advantage of it. I let my mind wander and sometimes the places it arrives at are quite interesting. I don’t write as an adult writing for kids, I write as a kid trapped in the body of an adult. This is another area where the whole “unwillingness to grow up” aspect of my personality serves me well. I can write for kids because I can write like a kid.
Of course as much as I have the mind of a kid, I am an adult saddled with all the responsibilities, and duties that come with it (by the way to prove the “mind of a kid” part I just giggled typing the word “duties”!) I have a job that entails making kids happy, but it is still a job. I have to book shows, deal with paperwork, pay bills, and market myself to the storytelling loving world. That takes a lot of work and a lot of times takes me away from what I love to do best which is finding and writing stories.
The more popular I get, the busier I get and the less time I have to do that thing I love. I would love to find an assistant to take care of the business side of things (and by the way if you are reading this and are interested in such a role please contact me – I’m serious!), but until that happens, I need to find a way to balance work and creativity. Recently I realized that I hadn’t written or found a new story in months. Yes I have a ton of tales in my collection, and the audience I tell them to probably never heard them before so it is okay for them. The thing is I have heard the stories (a lot) and the thrill in telling them starts to fade. I need new material to keep things fresh and fun so my thrill and excitement can be passed on to my audience.
I say all that to say this. A few weeks ago I got an email about a writing program from WordPress (the wonderful hosts of my blog) called “Writing 101” it is a way to develop a better writing habit and to tap into the creative process. I decided to join the program because I need to get back into the habit of writing and creating and finding and producing stories I know everyone will love. Like exercising after a long layoff, I know it will be tough to get back to where I need to be. The thing is getting there is very important because being a storyteller and telling stories is very important to me.
If you are a reader of this blog (and if you are please encourage others because I can always use more readers and fans), you will get a chance to see me in action as I try to be all that I can be and become a better writer and hopefully a better more creative storyteller!
So my “Writing 101” journey begins now…..