Friday, March 25, 2011


I'm a writer. I write stories. I'm an author of stories and two novels in progress and one memoir. I'm also a poet. And I've written a few scripts; short ones (stage and radio).

Those are stories.

Recently I've been working with someone on making some life changes and we've been talking about "being in story." This isn't the first time this has come up. But I think I finally "get it."

Stories are good. Stories have drama and impact and can move, excite, give pleasure, explain, and so on. Being "in story" can have that same effect.

But the problem with being "in story" is that when that happens, I'm not being present with myself and my experience. My desires, wants, needs. I'm focusing on the other person/people/situation and not on my experience of it.

It's not easy to explain here and perhaps some of you are shaking your head. Some of you may not agree with that concept. And some of you may be where I've been with this idea and not totally understand the difference.

And maybe I shouldn't even write about that here. It's personal. It's private. Yet as a writer, as a very young writer, people (make that my mother) didn't believe me sometimes *because* I was a writer - I "told stories."

So now I'm writing. Writing a lot. Writing fiction and non-fiction and creative non-fiction. And I don't want to get caught "in story" when I'm doing my own personal growth work. The big break through is that I'm noticing and that I'm learning to feel the difference. And I wonder if there is a correlation that, as I work through some of the harder parts of the memoir, perhaps I'm being able to move out of being "in story" and can see when I'm in that outward focused place and move through it.

Writing. Being present. These are what I do as a writer. Which is different than being "in story" when things get hard or there's conflict.


  1. There is also the problem of putting others into the story - placing them into the story as a character the author knows.

    People IRL are not characters in our stories because they don't fit into prescribed characterizations.

    For example, I'm like no one you've ever known before. And everyone has that going for them.

    So the only way for me to get to know My Character is to listen to My Character Speak even if I don't like what She has to say.

    If a person isn't present, they're not listening, according to this theory, to any one.

    Take care. Catch you on the flip side.

  2. Thanks for your comments!

    Yes - learning to listen. And including oneself in that listening in. *smile*