12132017Headline:

Rewriting the Stories We Live By

By the Drunk Jedi

Kinda Master Your Life by Following the Crooked Path of the Drunk Jedi

Pic by L E Carmichael in Wana Commons

Pic by L E Carmichael in Flickr’s Wana Commons

We all tell ourselves stories that shape how we experience our lives. The thing is, most of us suck at telling stories. I’ve been studying storytelling for many drunken moons and I still screw up. It’s bad to let poorly-told stories provide the framework for a novel, let alone for a life.

For instance…

In the early days of my business, I worked like a horse, day in and day out. I did not have weekends. I did not exercise, but this balanced out in a sick sort of way because I often forgot to eat. I still woke up at an unreasonable hour, but I made up for it by feeling guilty and then staying up until an equally unreasonable hour. I worked, worked, worked, and most of what I did never paid off.

During those days, I always told myself this story: “Someday, I’m gonna be a real writer! I’m gonna have enough clients and enough money and I’m gonna have so much time for writing fiction I will finish three books in a year! But for now, I’m gonna work overtime and put my novel on hold because this deadline is really close and I can’t believe I still have all this work to do oh my god oh my god.”

Now I’ve got this cozy little business that I’m quite happy with. But I’m still stuck in those old habits. I’m still putting my passions on hold because “this deadline is really close and I still have all this work oh my god.” I still put myself in stress-mode, even though the amount of work I have is exactly what I wanted when I started out in this venture.

The moral of the story, grasshopper, is that sometimes we need to take a step back from the running stress-script in our heads and and ask, “Is this story still true? It was true a year ago,” (or last week, or last relationship, you get the idea) “and it served me well, but is it still true today?”

Oftentimes, I think we’d find the answer surprises us. Of course, discovering we’re living an outdated story, brings the challenge of creating a new story. I guess my new story would have to go, “I have as much work as I want, and as much time as I need to exercise, eat and write fiction.”
But this will mean changing a habit or two in order to live that story, and who wants to change habits?

Who indeed, grasshopper?

What outdated stories are you caught up in?

***

L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.


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