Discovering the Relevance of Words
Sometimes, when I’m trying to write fiction, it helps to try and think like the character I’m writing. It can be helpful, for me, to let my mind drift off while I do mundane tasks and allow it to try and wrap itself around the experience of being a different person. A person I invented.
I only tell you all of this so that when I say to you that one of the characters inside my head said something interesting this morning, as I am about to do, you won’t be quite so quick to declare me mentally incompetent. I was thinking about a story and what a certain protagonist might say in a given situation when I heard him talk. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of,
“I’m just trying to do one thing today that might warrant a mention in an unauthorized biography.”
I was pouring coffee at the time. I can still feel the spot on my finger where hot coffee overflowed my mug and burned it. I was pretty impressed. I don’t know if he (I) made that up or heard it somewhere, but I found myself liking that sentiment a lot.
Everyone is a writer. Everyday we all write our own lives with everything we do. It helps to keep this in mind, I think. Especially with this impulse to record everything in life that seems so prevalent recently. What use is a record if the subject matter is boring?
“The first and last story anyone tells is their own.”
That one came from a character inside my head too, but I don’t listen to that character. I KNOW he’s crazy.
What will you do today that someone else might fondly recall years from now while recording for an oral history of your life? It doesn’t have to be major, just noteworthy enough to remember. A lifetime of those will make for a helluva good story.