Human beings connect through story. We define our individual selves by story. We even define our universe in terms of the stories we tell ourselves.
And despite often sharing experiences with others, my understanding and interpretation of those experiences—my personal Truth—is the story that I build around those experiences.
If I see something I have never seen before, I immediately construct a story. I give it context from items around it or its location or its presence at this time of day.
And remarkably, if I came upon this same thing tomorrow rather than today, the story I construct then might be entirely different from the one I build today.
Thus, story is malleable. It lives and breathes as we take in new information from our surroundings and incorporate that information into the story, making tweaks and adjustments to ensure that everything continues to make sense.
When the story doesn’t make sense, when congruence is lost, we get upset, and in some cases, put up hostile blinders. This is when human beings lose connection.
Because story is such a personal thing, the Creative—whom I define as anyone who pursues a task with passion—is faced with an essentially insurmountable challenge: How do I share my story through myriad personal filters?
Ultimately, you cannot control how another receives and interprets your story.
What is my story for this work? What story did the Creative intend?
Even if the Painter tells me her intent in painting a portrait or landscape, the Novelist types out in no uncertain terms precisely what he means to convey, the Musician strikes notes and chords to instill specific feelings, I can remain oblivious to those intents, consciously or un-.
This simply is; and we can only hope that it does not negatively influence the passion to create.
That passion, the drive to create, must be given voice, however; and so the Creative moves forward, doing his or her best to share (much as I am doing now in writing this).
A dedicated Creative struggles on, regardless of the insurmountable barriers, and strives to convey the most effective story he or she can, looking for ways to layer thoughts and emotions and spiritual energies onto the personal stories of others.
We practice what we know. We experiment with the unknown. We seek guidance and critical analysis.
And most importantly, we accept that we will never achieve 100% success instilling our stories in others, and yet push ourselves and our Art as if it were possible.
As Creatives, as people of passion, that is central to our stories.
If you’re interested in learning how to build stories more effectively, seeking guidance for nascent projects or critical analysis of existing works, feel free to check out my website So, What’s Your Story or reach out to me here or via my Facebook page.
In the meantime, I wish you all the success in the world.