August 10, 2013 by Dragonfly Diva
I read this phrase somewhere recently and thought that would make a wonderful blog title. So cut, paste and “Wha La!” Now, what to say about it? As I viewed it, it tells me simply not to sit back and let life happen to me, but to orchestrate its direction, its tone, its events. That my friends I believe I do a good bit of the time. So at that point I wonder…is this phrase even really pertinent to me? I believe it is.
To me, being an author is about delving deep into a story, or a character’s personality, experiences and perspectives to share with readers. When I read a book that is shallow, that skips across the surface of the lives of those contained within the pages, I’m disappointed. For example a romance novel that has the lead characters meet, fall in love, and know it will be forever in the span of a few days. While entertaining and certainly possible I find myself wishing that I could read another book about the couple five or 10 years down the road, and find them like any other couple…fighting about certain things, and silently, or loudly complaining about each others human characteristics. Like maybe one leaves the sponge at the bottom of the sink full of dirty dishes, or the other tends to worry too much about what other people think of them. The kind of things that real couples go through. And in a story like that, at least one of them, no matter how much they really love one another, would at some point stop and say “had I known in those first few days what I know now, would I have rushed forward to forever so quickly?” Its the digging deeper that makes the story real. Human. Livable.
As author of my own life, I think I try to dig deep into myself and learn more about what makes me tick all the time. Sometimes I like what I see, and other times I come to the realization that there is a facet that is in my point of view not so great. So here is where the going gets rough for the author, and I find myself becoming the narrator….change. I find something about myself I want to change, but actually DOING it, is…well, it’s HARD folks! And because it is scary and the potential for failure is higher, I find myself just edging around changing, dipping my toe in the pond so to speak and then backing off and suddenly I’m on the other side, still the same old me that I was before. And looking back I certainly see how I was just narrating life, because, well I knew how it would go and I just helped it along.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some wonderful, powerful, successful author moments over the years. Even within difficult, hard changes that I really wanted but knew would not be easy. And those moments should fuel others shouldn’t they? They should keep that fire burning and strengthen my author tendencies, right? Right! So then how to explain that slide back into narration, right when you want to forge a different path? What is it about certain life situations, or certain people who numb that drive, and douse the flame? Does figuring this out have to do with expanding the perspective that we look at those people, or situations through? Because, really, while I may be the author of my own life, I am not the only character in this story, and if I need to be an author, not a narrator, then other people should be their own authors of their own life stories, right?
So if I’m authoring and so is everyone else, then hey, maybe the reason some situations or personal facets are hard to change is because we have not enlisted those around us in supporting the change. Maybe their authoring can support my own and I’ll find I’m more successful. Maybe they will change how they interact with me, or support me, or even change something about their own story, as they realize through my effort to change that maybe they too where narrating where they should have been authoring, contributing to the entire situation. Or maybe it was time for me to let someone else author for a while, and I might just learn a thing or two.
And that my friends is the crux of the situation. We are all authors and narrators at times and it is the give and take, ebb and flow of those two approaches, the dance that occurs between people as they shift from one to the other, that is life. It is not just being an author, or allowing narration to outweigh the right to choose a given path, it is the interplay between the two that moves us along.
So I guess I did have a bit to say about that topic! And, looking back a better title would be Be an Author AND a Narrator, of Your Life. Lives written by co-authors and guest narrators are much more elaborate and detailed and make much better stories. Now, go out their and find your cast of characters and create!