I’m never very far away from remembering that the reasons I started to write in this blog (as opposed to a private journal) continue to demonstrate that I chose right. When writing with the intention of sharing your work with others:
- the story must be closed with respect to details, because almost no reader will know who Bob from high school was. For that matter, they won’t know your where your high school is and when you went there
- you must obscure identities, unless the specific person(s) have given permission or given reason to call them out
- choose your words carefully, with respect to vocabulary. Obviously this is a fine line between using the perfect word you know or settling for a less well-fitting word that most people will know (as you might have figured out, let’s say, I tend to stay on that thin line between using a ‘big’ word that many of one’s readers will know or at least be curious enough to look up online).
- writing for an audience turns a recorder of facts and a thready sequence of events into a storyteller
- you’re you own test group
And after awhile, you find that a story is a far, far better way of recording the past.
For example, in the process of telling the story of my run-in with a “Drama Empress” and subsequent loss of friends, I not only animated in my mind that bit of my past, but in the telling of it, the focus of the story changed: what started out as an attempt to record something that I might recycle for some fiction piece (a farce, of course) turned into a paean of friendship and that when you choose to be friends, you can change an insurmountable obstacle into a moot point.
Sappy? Yes. But true.