Monday Motivation: Turning lives into stories, ten years on
We’ve been ensconced in the Palazzo Albrizzi in Venice for a few days now, spending our mornings talking to writers about their work, devising ways over hurdles (straight up and over) and through fields of landmines (slow, cautious and cunning).
But most fundamentally, what we’ve been doing is talking to writers about the stories they wish to tell.
We – that is, All About Writing – have been doing this now for ten years. What began as a tentative experiment has turned into a rollicking adventure.
Life is, as we all know, just one damned thing after another. But stories are another thing entirely. The reason stories make sense is that all those damned things are connected in stories. They make sense. They’re full of meaning. So when we tell stories about life, we trace connections between incidents. Ah, this happened because that happened. He married Elzabe because Irene had thrown him over.
And where do stories come from? Overwhelmingly, they spring from our lives. From our feelings. From our observations. They provide the raw material, the dross, the grist. We uncover connections and so create significance.
So what we at All About Writing have done in the ten years of our existence is help people turn their lives into stories. We’ve helped more than a thousand people do this. We’ve helped create thousands of stories.
This is why so many people, unprompted, have said to us: you’ve changed our lives. Well, we haven’t done that. They’ve done that for themselves. They dug in and they found the meaning in their lives. Which is stories. Which is what we’ve helped them tell.
For ten years now. And we’ll go on now doing that, both here in Venice and wherever else we work and, of course, online.
Helping people find and tell their stories.
And in turn, in the way that stories feed their tellers, all those people and their stories have, of course, become part of our unending story.
Click here to read J0-Anne’s latest blog in the Essential Aspects series
Cape Town Creative Saturday, Muizenberg – 7 October
Creative Writing Course, Online – starts 9 October
Creative Writing Course, Cape Town and Johannesburg – starts 16 October