Seniors: Find a Way to Share Your Story

Jun 27th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Everyone has a story.  While some may seem more enchanting than others, it is likely mostly so in the telling.  Your story is uniquely yours and is stamped with the unusual and special quality of your own experience.  Discovering how to tell it, where to tell it, and to whom to tell it is the challenge before you.  When sitting in an airport terminal, I find it especially delightful to connect with someone who, before long, will weave their story and make the visit deliciously enjoyable.  Even elevators give a chance to hear a story.  Of necessity, it will be brief, but it can be fun to find out how a point about something you have learned along the way can be made.

The Internet offers a plethora of possibilities for telling your story.  Ezine, for example, is one of those.  Check it out.  Maybe you have more skills than you know.  Before that, just begin by drafting a few short tales of your life’s experience.  Maybe share it with two or three friends.  Allow their critique of what you have to say.  Listen to their suggestions of style and content.  Before long, you may have the makings of a short story or a magazine article or a novel.  Who knows?

Begin making notes to yourself as ideas surface.  Keep a journal of your thoughts and rememberings.  Soon, a flow will develop, connections will be introduced, personalities will come alive, events can be reshaped.  Your story, while never perhaps destined to be a best seller, may be an inspiration to others, whose own story may mirror yours.  Don’t aim for huge success at first.  Aim only to share your story.  Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect, just be perfectly content that telling your story allows you a creative opportunity you never considered before.

Visit with family members, particularly those who are older, and allow them to share their recollections.  You may very well strike a vein of gold.  Pick up on the nuances of the tale, embellish, enlarge, capsulize, collect words, phrases, descriptions, expressions.  Let your words become a canvass illustrating a picture that others will grasp and get the point.

Write something everyday.  You may delete and start over as much as you like.  But, be prepared to save some vignettes that could be useful somewhere in your text.  A twist, an unusual insight just may take you in a direction you might not have imagined.  A turn of phrase may offer you vistas in literary exploration.  Just imagine where you may go and don’t worry about how you get there.  The marvel of the computer is that you can go back and do it over.

Protect your writing time.  Turn off the phone.  Refuse to respond to imail or email or Facebook or any other potential interruption.  Identify a nook where no one will invade you while you are at work.  Indeed, it is work.  It requires your own use of skills and honing of them, you hadn’t dreamed of employing.  Set aside enough time to be at the task of writing, even though you may not come up with anything particularly productive that day.  Look for ways to tell a story that stirs your own heart, perhaps brings tears, pushes you to work more diligently at fashioning your story.  Now, put it aside for a while.  Go back when you are fresh.  Re-read it.  Make changes.  Abbreviate some sentences or paragraphs.  Look out for verbosity.  Listen to your heart.  If it pulls your own heart strings, it will likely do so for others.

So, now get at it.  Right now, this morning, before anything else interferes.  Declare to others your unavailability for a season and write.



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