Let it change.
I’ll admit that my subheading was originally “Let it go.” I altered it to say “Let it change” because I didn’t want to lie in bed tonight thinking, “Why, Page? Why did you reference that over-punned movie line? Why?” (but seriously… I sing it all the time and here is proof)
There has been a little bit of trouble in the home office of the Story Lovers Community this week (and last week). With fervor and perseverance, I’m desperately trying to wrap up the final draft of my free new ebook “I, Storyteller” and get it to my editor. But I keep changing it!
I’m not picking it apart like a pizza that came with olives I didn’t ask for, altering an analogy here, using a different synonym there, etc. Continually, I’m changing the whole premise. The very foundation of this book keeps hiking up its skirt and sidestepping to a new sheet of bedrock. It’s maddening!
To be honest, I’ve written enough stories to know this is the way it goes. Somehow, though, I always convince myself:
Not this time, Page! You got this one down!
Then, POOF! The bottom falls out, and I’m thwarted by my story’s elusive plot, doomed to stare into a blinking cursor for all eternity and wonder how I could have been so wrong.
Morphing Stories Feel Like Growing Pains
When I was in college, I was taught in my Spiritual Formation class that journal-ing is an important spiritual discipline. It isn’t only for venting in private, in a noble but futile effort to cleanse the Facebook newsfeed. It shapes us.
Our thoughts are like all of the different strands of a spiderweb that have been wadded up and handed to us in a ball. We’re supposed to take these strands and construct them into some semblance of coherent facts and informed opinions. Writing in a journal is the spotlight that cuts a path through the fog in your mind, and getting it all out of your head and onto paper is the hot sun that lifts that fog and gives you clarity.
Stories are no different. We always think we have some brilliant idea, but then, the writing process takes us on a journey with twists and turns we never saw coming. You start out with one narrative and end up with another.
I encourage you to let the story change. Obviously, you want to avoid letting your changes become a bottomless pit that prevents your story from ever finding rest. But allow space to let your story find its own essence. This freedom cultivates good story health, allowing it to grow bigger and stronger.
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