Every Story Has A Name. What’s Yours?

The Untitled Life: Every Story Has A Name. What’s Yours?


Has this ever happened to you?

You lie awake, staring at the ceiling, thinking of all the things you failed at? ‘I haven’t written the book I really want to write.’ ‘I should never have left the love of my life go without a fight.’ ‘I should’ve travelled more when I had the chance.’  It can go on and on.

While none of us can relive the past, we can reframe it. There is a way to tell the story of our lives – so that it makes sense.

Try this is an exercise …

Imagine you’re celebrating your upcoming birthday. Think back to the last year of your life. How would you pitch that year as the idea for a novel, a play, or even a song?

What was the theme? Who are the main characters? What exciting or challenging things happened to you? What conflict did you face? When did things go smoothly?  What was a highlight – and what was a low point?  How does the story end on your next birthday?

Now write out a half-page blurb of this ‘story’ and give it a title? What kind of genre would it fit? (Remember: even horror stories sell, if well written). If it was a song, what would the title be? Who would perform this song?

Nothing we experience in life is wasted – it can always be used to help our writing. We can’t lobotomise the past – it’s part of who we are and who we’ll always be.

What we can do is liberate the past – in our writing, through our characters, our plots, and our themes.  You wouldn’t expect characters in a novel to sail through life without a single setback. That would be boring, right?

Why expect our own lives to be any different?

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. 3 Secrets To Simplicity In Your Writing Process
  2. The Surprising Truth Of Finding Your True Story in Sorrow
  3. 4 Ways To Rediscover Joy As A Writer

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