This entry is an excerpt from my personal journal. I don’t usually share thoughts this personal, but I enjoyed writing it and I hope you’ll find it interesting.
A study of my life as if it were piece of literature has been quite revealing. I quickly quashed that voice in my
head that whispered, “This is pointless. You can’t compare your life to literature. You don’t live in a novel.” Regardless of the futility, my creativity had been in a slump and I wanted a personal project to get my brain engaged . The following is my opinion on the results of my unscientific, meandering, and disturbing study.
First, I tried to determine if the story of my life is plot driven or character driven. Do I control the events in my life, or do I spend my time reacting to the situations around me? I found that my main character has evolved through the years. I started my story creating my own plot. I made quick decisions (some good, mostly bad), and shaped my life around those decisions. It was difficult learning every lesson the hardest way possible, but it was also fun and exhilarating. My lifestyle was proof of my character type. I never owned more than I could carry on my back for a long distance. I clung to constant hope of better opportunities, and jumped on anything that seemed a little brighter. Geography, logistics, and feasibility were never obstacles. Nothing was ever deep or tall enough to stand in my way.
Today, my story is different. I schedule my day around the world. I take extra hours at work to help pay bills, spend less time dreaming, and am more rooted in my community. I now own more stuff than I could ever cram into a backpack. I’ve transformed from a character driven plot to a plot directed story, and the story has gotten thin. I’m just at that point in a bad novel where it becomes hard to read.
The next step in my study I found the most revealing. I wanted to define the plot of my story. If a man tells me he is a baker and a father, then I can make a few safe assumptions about the plot to his life. Afterall, he described himself this way. I tried to take a step back and define a couple of central themes to my life. I found non until I widened my scope to include the life stories of others. I’ve been a supporting character in countless peoples lives. I have carried some through the toughest conflicts of their lives, while others have carried me through the fires of hell. I’ve participated in world events which have changed laws and even governments. My life is full moments of pride, regret, evil, and goodness. These moments seem to have profound affects on people around me. I try to learn something, but then I always move on.
Then it all came together in a moment. One thread has run through my entire story. From the first poem I
wrote to impress my first girlfriend, to the article about grammar I wrote this morning; I have always been a writer. Maybe my plot, theme, or purpose is to write down all of these things I’ve done, seen, heard, and tasted. Yes, it is time to turn around and look back. Time to analyze a lifetime of canyons and peaks, selfless good deeds immediately followed by misdemeanors, and steadfast loves that ended in hatred. These experiences have shaped my author’s voice, and gave it depth and meaning. It’s time to let that voice scream from my pen.