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?
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- 3 Secrets To Simplicity In Your Writing Process
- The Surprising Truth Of Finding Your True Story in Sorrow
- 4 Ways To Rediscover Joy As A Writer
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