"Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released."
A Pencil and Paper
As far back as I can remember I wanted to write, tell stories and play with colours. Like everyone else, I think we come into the world knowing what we really want to do and as children we call it playing. Unfortunately when we get older we are told that we have go to school and become serious. Little by little there is less time to play and to do the things we love. We are told to put away our box of crayons and put our mind to work.
So we set aside our creative pursuits and go towards the serious side of life silently telling ourselves that someday we will have more time to get back to the fun creative stuff like painting, music, writing, woodworking, stained glass, sewing, knitting, dancing and chasing butterflies. Unfortunately many women never find the time to get back to doing what they loved because of a multitude of responsibilities, reasons and excuses.
I remember as a young child filling copies with words about the people I knew. It was fun and I thought it was all good. I would draw the people's pictures and even though I knew that my drawings needed a little work, I didn't let it stop me. My greatest pleasure was to have pens, pencils, crayons, copies, books and a quiet place to sit and fill the pages. I still feel the same way today.
When I went to school, I learned that I had to listen and do what they told me. The worst thing ever, was that I had to think about things like arithmetic. It was boring but I had to pass my exams to prove that I was smart enough to get to the next grade. As children we are programmed to be constantly aware of the dreaded fear of failure, so we spend our lives trying to avoid it, which limits our passions and creative potential.
So the enjoyment of storytelling and writing got set aside because of my many adult responsibilities and my dreaded fears of failure. Yet I knew that I would find my way back to it someday, because that is who I was, and as real and necessary to my well being as walking and talking. On the most challenging days of my life, it was the thought of writing that helped me to deal with everything.
And so here it is, 2020 and I know that I am more than half way through my life. How strange it is to think of myself as an older woman... how did that happen?
I know that I am not a great writer... actually, far from it. I know I will never be a Jane Austin, nor a Kate Morton, but that is not the reason I write. I accept the fact that I will make mistakes but I know that I will get better with every word and sentence that I write.
And yes I know that if I write, I will have to face a writer’s worst nightmare.... the critics! It really is a tough world out there for writers, which is why so few ever actually complete anything that they start to write. Fear of judgement in anything, crushes the dreams of too many people. It makes no sense that a reader will get personally offended if a word is misspelled or a grammar mistake shows up in a 100 000 word book. Somehow writers are supposed to be perfect, in total command of their written work, with a magic touch that pours out perfect words and sentence structures unto a blank page. The truth is, writers like everyone else are not perfect and a misspelled word is not an intentional mistake aimed to insult the reader's intelligence. The reality is that doctors and so many other professionals make mistakes and the consequences are much more serious than a misplaced word or two.
I have invested in an amazing collection of books on how to write books. I bought them through the years to help me put words on paper. I tried to follow all of their advice, until I finally realised that reading books on how to write, stopped me from actually writing. There were just too many rules. If you look on Amazon's how to write category, you will find thousands of books on the subject. The mere fact that there are so many people out there telling you how it has to be done is enough to overwhelm and discourage most people from writing. And when you stop to think about, it is only their opinion, because every rule was made by someone who had an opinion about something.
What if you have your own story to tell but you don't know how to find the right words to do it?
The purpose of this place called A Woman's Story is to help you step outside of your many expectations, rules, judgements, fears and beliefs so that you can live the life of your choosing. Please forgive any mistakes that you will find in my writing and don’t let them hold you back from my intent and purpose for creating this space for you. When you learn to let go of the need to be perfect and that everything around you has to be perfect, you will find that you are removing many of the roadblocks in your life, which will give you the freedom to enjoy things for what they are and the good that they bring to your life. Life is messy and nothing in nature was intended to be perfect and yet it is its diversity that amazes, expands and stirs our soul. It is in its imperfection that we can escape for a walk along a beaten path into the forest or walk along a moonlit beach to relax and let down our need to be, do and live the trappings of the so called perfect life.
And there it stood, a flower on a rock,
Where nothing else lived for a hundred miles in every direction.
This flower was life, bold and true,
Standing proud to the sky, lapping up sunlight,
Digging his roots into the ground.
He was living; no matter what the world told him he couldn’t be,
He just went on, chin up into the sun,
And I realized that life,
By its very nature, is brave.
So I have let go of my fears and the need to be perfect and I just write. I will not put any pressure on myself and get bogged down in all the so called rules of writing perfection. I will just enjoy the process of telling a story because in the end, that is what it is all about for I have learned that life is just a story and we are all a small part of it's perfect imperfections!
Like the old saying goes... " the world is a stage" and you have to decide how you want to show up in your life.
One of my goals is to write 100 stories from now till then. Then being the day when the lights go out and my own story is ended. These are a few of the stories I have written and you can find them here on my Bookshelf
The Fisherman and the Salmon, A Fabled Love Story.
Last Winter's Snowman
I am working on another one called the Watercolour Artist. It is a fascinating story about a woman who was in many ways a gentle rebel, trapped within the limitations of her golden cage because she was Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Louise. I got to know this woman very well through my many years of research but I will tell you more about that one at another time. You can find out more about her in a 5000 word story that I wrote as a featured cover story in a British magazine, published in 2016, here on my Bookshelf - Louise
I have also added the television documentary that I worked on about Princess Louise's time on the fabled Grand Cascapedia River in my hometown. You can find it at the bottom of this page.
The question is, what is it that you want to do from now till the time that your own story ends here on earth? Don't waste anymore any more of your life waiting for someone else to give you permission to do what you really want to do, because you will never get it. Don't waste time filling your life with excuses and distractions because you are too afraid to try. Don't worry about failure or being judged because of it. Do that one thing that you have been wanting to do for so long but were too afraid to try. Find a way to follow your some of your dreams that may seem impossible to achieve. There is a way to create a better life for yourself and this is actually the perfect time to give yourself The Gift of Retelling Your Story to help you do it.
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a
different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative
and holistic ‘right-brain’ thinkers.
~Daniel Pink, author
Watch the documentary that I was part of that aired on French language television.