Are all stories already told? Are there any new stories to write? What would be your story if you were to write one? When I was is middle school, I used to have a home tutor who helped me with creative writings. Usually he would give me a writing prompt, and I would finish writing an essay. Well, having finished graduate school, I can finally say there is always a story to tell regardless of the age, the time, or the place. And for you, it is your story.
1. Everyone has a story
For a lot of us, life is uneventful. Most of the times, nothing exciting happens. However, we do have moments that shape us and define our journeys. A random act of kindness from a stranger or a sudden realization that you can, in fact, choose a different path. You can break the routine. You can create your story in a different way. You, your family, your friends and all that you have lived through are meaningful to you. And these are parts of your story.
Stories of life experiences
How was your first birthday? Maybe your parents will remember it. The first time you went on a trip. Trying out that different dish. Do you recall the flavors? Rejections you have received. Your success. Although no singular event defines you, they all sum up to who you are as a person. Your story is not only about you but also the time you have lived in, the places you have seen, and the people you have met. There has been almost no other person who lived through the same trajectory as you did.
Stories that transcend time
Do you remember a time when you had to be courageous? Stood up for yourself, someone or something? Do you sometimes feel touched by a poem written by a poet from a different time? Imagine your story being read by a person long after your time. What would that story be? Would it inspire them to fight for what they believe in?
2. Your story matters
Now that you realize you have a story, why is it necessary to share it? Well, it is not necessary to share every story. You have the liberty to choose what you want to share. The story you choose to share does not have to be real. You can create fictions, or fictionalize real events. You can go talk about anything you could possibly imagine. The point is, why does it matter?
Sometimes it is about being heard. Your life is difficult. But you do not have to suffer alone. Through expressing yourself by your story, you will realize that a lot of people can relate to you. They are also suffering. Some of them can understand their own struggles through relating to yours. They can even amplify your voice. It is in our nature to connect. And telling a story is one of the best ways to connect.
Extending on the previous point of being heard, sometimes you might belong to a group whose stories are not represented. People do not know your group exists. For example, you could be a middle-class teen living through a pandemic and struggling with your life. You have to share your bedroom with your loud brother. There is little privacy at your home. You are embarrassed to turn on the video for the online class. The policies your school has adopted for online teaching are not suitable for you. Or you could be a broke college student struggling with your finances. You decline to hang out with yours friends as you cannot afford the extra expenses. There is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to voice your problems to effect changes. You tell your story, and your story might be the catalyst for change.
Eventually, some of us will be fortunate enough to sit and contemplate about our legacy. However, most of us are too busy doing our jobs. Some may find that their jobs are meaningful. But most jobs are not designed to create a lasting legacy for you. However, once you decide to share your story it becomes part of your legacy. Stories do not have to be written. They can be passed verbally from grand parents to grand children. They can eventually become oral traditions. This brings us to our last point. How do you share your story?
3. Choosing the medium of your expression
I have started blogging to express myself and share my ideas and interests. Nowadays, there are so many options. Your stories can be told through different forms whether through a painting, a movie, or a short story, or anything else. And there are so many platforms to showcase your work too.
Art has has become digital. All you need is a tablet to get started in your journey into digital paintings. You can showcase your work online. You don't need an expensive canvas to draw. You don't need a gallery to display your art works.
Movies (and series) are great and we cannot stop binge watching them in the era of Netflix and competitors. You could get started with making low-budget short films. All you might need is a phone with good camera to get started. You are not competing with Hollywood or Bollywood. Remember, you are telling your story. And this story will resonate with some people.
You could start with an essay, a short story, a poem, or even a blog. Writing is a tried and tested method. There are so many writers out there. But there are also so many readers. Remember, you are not competing for your story to show up on the first page of Google. But your story will be out there. And someone looking for a similar story might stumble upon it. (Google eventually indexes the good stories). And it will matter to them.
So, what is your story?