Thursday, September 24, 2015

Which Narrative Do Writers Live?

What narrative do we tell ourselves as we live the story of our life?

As writers, our books tell a story or cover a subject in a very defined and concrete way. When we promote ourselves and the books we’ve published, we use another narrative to lure the media and consumers in.  We paint a picture of the world and who we are, and push such a narrative in hopes of getting a desired response.  All of that is planned and designed.  But what is our narrative for life itself?

What do we tell ourselves to get us through the day? What story do we buy into that motivates us to act one way over another?  What value or issue or experience or circumstance do we allow to define who we are and to dictate our actions? It’s one thing to use your imagination to create a world, it’s another to live in reality, in a world with true choices and substantial consequences.

I wonder if writers live a life different from most, simply because they see the world differently, and immerse themselves in questions over answers, fantasy over facts, and speculation over what actually is or was.

I warn you, I don’t have an answer to my own headline.  I’m not even sure what my narrative is. 

Writers are compelled to write.  Perhaps we’re born this way, gifted and cursed at age one.  Maybe to be a writer is a choice, but it seems to be chosen when one reacts to their circumstances.

Writers always see how things could be better, or at least different, the way a home decorator can envision 20 different floor and wall pattern combinations that would each be perfect for a specific space.  I find I’m always wondering: “What if things were different?”

I look at something that’s flawed, weak, or lacking and imagine if one thing were changed, added, or removed, how it would then be better and wonderful.  I also look at the strong, the powerful, the perfect, and often wonder if their weak points were exposed or attacked, how that would relegate them to a much lower, less invincible status.  

I think of opposites and I think of possibilities probabilities, and the unknowns.  The puzzle of life is manipulated in my head and I suddenly see different realities, each alternative competing for attention.  How can I dictate terms and circumstances to bend to my will?  How can I blend in to what’s not movable or changeable?  It’s as if when I talk to someone or see something, I see them or it in all of its stages and phases – where it is, where it’s been, where it could be.

My narrative skews this way:

·         To be optimistic but cautious.
·         To be ever curious about people and things.
·         To take human nature into consideration of any decision.
·         To seek answers but know that some questions can’t yet be answered.
·         To live in the moment but to have a bigger perspective on life.
·         That common sense, truth, and love should win out over ignorance, politics, greed or insanity.

I write because I search for truth as much as I hope to share what that truth is, should I uncover it.  I write, not to dictate how things should be, but to explore how they could be. I write to question what is, but not to destroy it, just to affirm it. 

What’s your narrative, as a writer and human being?


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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