The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers

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The best bloggers or at least my favorites are master storytellers. They know how to take a simple sentence and make it sing for them. They are artists who weave tapestries of sight and sound that I can see in my mind’s eye. Every time I sit down at this chair and let my fingers dance upon the keyboard I strive to meet the mark that they set for me.

And dance is exactly how I see this. Words are my partner and my job is to lead them into creating a construct that creates something out of nothing

The seventeen longtime readers have grown accustomed to my criticism of my own work. They know I rarely edit or rewrite the posts that you see appear on this page. More often than not I save those words as a draft and use insert them as needed into the posts that I write. I suppose that you could say that I see it as being similar to being a Football coach or Baseball Manager. When the Dillon Panthers are looking at 3rd and long I’ll sometimes look to the end of my bench and see that walkon that couldn’t quite make it as quarterback and I’ll put them in.

They never know when I might decide to use them so I always tell them to stay ready and be aware because when the call comes I expect them to perform for me.

That might sound silly to you but it is how I write. The words are my companions on a journey and the players on my team. They are close family members that have my back as I have theirs. Most of the time it works for me but sometimes it doesn’t which is why you occasionally see fifty or sixty words in blockquotes. Those are words that didn’t make the cut and instead serve as an example to me of what I don’t want to do or a direction that I didn’t want to go in.

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It is hard for me to believe that we have passed the halfway point for this year. The summer days are racing by and I can hear the footsteps of the coming school year approaching faster and faster. 2011 has been a very peculiar year for me. In many ways it has been among the worst that I have ever had to endure and that bothers me greatly. Life is far too short to be described like that. One shouldn’t feel like they need to count the minutes in the day…every day. But I have done that with greater frequency than I care to admit or think about.

The experience is making me harder and not in the way that anyone will appreciate. But then again there have been many moments of levity and more than a few times in which I laughed so hard my stomach ached for the following days.  Though I will tell you that I feel like I am that rock and island that Simon & Garfunkel sing about I can also say that I know that I am not alone. The boys and I have had many conversations about our respective situations and while they are all different we are all fighting fires at home or abroad.

The most frustrating part of these moments for me is that I am not able to take control of the entire situation the way that I would like to. So I wait for others to do what they must and wonder how long I must walk through hell covered in gasoline. Not so long ago I wrote the devil a letter and said that when he finished fighting with that fiddler down in Georgia he should come look me up. Smarter men than I wouldn’t go looking for trouble but sometimes I’d rather swim out to meet it in single combat and get it over with.

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But as the Stones sing we can’t always get what we want so we make do with what he have and see if we can’t turn those situations to our advantage. And because life is the greatest contradiction I have ever encountered I find myself feeling like the best really is yet to come.I feel that change in the wind and picture myself walking across some sandy beach in Hawaii or hanging out for a weekend in New England. The way I see it if I have to keep battling then I can do it with a big smile on my face which is often how you see me

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Really, ask that wacky broad I call The Shmata Queen and she’ll tell you that I have the sort of smile that makes you wonder what sort of mischief I have gotten into. Frankly if you are smart you’ll spend less time wondering what I did and more worrying about what I might do. That is the joy of hanging out with 42 years of insouciant man. My son has decided that I must have been really good at talking my way out of trouble and I course deny that. I never got into trouble in school- I got others in trouble. Oops, did I say that out loud.

I have to get back to writing the stories that pay the bills but before I do I have just a few more thoughts to share with you. I am trying hard to just let go and accept that good things are coming. It is not easy for me to do. It is not easy because I believe that good things come to those who work for them but at the same time I have this crazy feeling that I can’t shake that something really good is about to happen. I figure that there is no harm in accepting that.

This quote really resonates with me: “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think that I am guilty of it so part of my acceptance is acknowledging that I have been getting in my own way. It is also why I may ask you to move out of my sunlight. I am happy to share it, but if you are casting shadows upon me, well you have go to go or risk being defenestrated.

See you on the other side.

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Comments

  1. @KDillabough Kaarina I like that advice and agree with it. Action is always necessary or so it seems to me. I don’t believe in just waiting for good things to happen- we have to make them.

    It is much better to take control than to just wait and hope that something good will come of whatever situation we are in.

  2. Jack, I don’t think that the “feeling you’re feeling” is crazy. Without going all “woowoo” on you, I do believe that, as we set out intentions, in mind and soul, doors and windows open for us, that we didn’t even know existed. The problem with a lot of the “woowoo” was just that people believed that all they had to do was sit and dream and visualize and affirm: they didn’t take the next step…the important step…the ACTION step.

    You’re right to embrace the feeling that something really good is about to happen. By embracing that, windows and doors will appear, and good things WILL happen. I liken it to buying a car. You decide to buy a red car. Once that decision is made, you see gaziillions of red cars on the road. You never noticed them before, but they were always there. By setting intention and making a decision, that which was unseen before comes into your field of view, and into your life.

    So keep telling stories: believe that good things are always in store. And I’d never stand in your sunlight:) Cheers! Kaarina

  3. @TheJackB@Hajra Ditto that, Jack!

  4. @Leon I LOVE “words are merely carriages for meaning”. The vision that creates is magnificent!

  5. @Leon A cocked hat indeed. When people don’t understand or follow my intent I know that I have fallen short of the mark.

  6. @bdorman264 I can’t imagine you telling any stories. 😉

    Got to believe that good things are going to happen because the alternative just makes up bitter and angry. Careful now, might have to bring the house down and turn the lights low to sing about that Bridge Over Troubled Waters. 😉

  7. I used to get in trouble for telling stories…………..

    It’s ok to expect good things to happen; I know I certainly do. Yes, the best might be yet to come but make sure you also appreciate the small ‘bests’ as well. Everything else is called life and some of it is good and some of it is not, but at the end of the day what can you really control?

    I thought you might tell me you were a ‘bridge over troubled waters’.

    Hang in there buddy, good days are indeed ahead.

  8. @weforgotyounot That is awesome. I love it.

  9. @weforgotyounot That is awesome. I love it.

  10. G’Day Jack,

    I’ve said this before but I’ll keep on saying it: writing’s about the reader, not about the writer. And, at the risk of a double repeat: words are merely carriages for meaning.

    There’s no “one right way.” I’ve published two books, umpteen articles, 19 eBooks and lot of other stuff. I publish over 50,000 words each year just on my blog. Like you, I’ve developed my own way of getting writing done.

    But it falls into a cocked hat if the people I write for can’t grasp my meaning. That’s all.

    Regards

    Leon

  11. G’Day Jack,

    I’ve said this before but I’ll keep on saying it: writing’s about the reader, not about the writer. And, at the risk of a double repeat: words are merely carriages for meaning.

    There’s no “one right way.” I’ve published two books, umpteen articles, 19 eBooks and lot of other stuff. I publish over 50,000 words each year just on my blog. Like you, I’ve developed my own way of getting writing done.

    But it falls into a cocked hat if the people I write for can’t grasp my meaning. That’s all.

    Regards

    Leon

  12. @Hajra I suspect that you have many stories that people would find interesting. One of the things that I love about blogging is that I get to interact with people I would never otherwise meet.
    And through doing so I get exposed to worlds, ideas and practices I might not ever see. So what you consider to be routine might be fascinating to me and others.

  13. @Hajra I suspect that you have many stories that people would find interesting. One of the things that I love about blogging is that I get to interact with people I would never otherwise meet.
    And through doing so I get exposed to worlds, ideas and practices I might not ever see. So what you consider to be routine might be fascinating to me and others.

  14. Hey Jack,

    I think I can weave a story, but how interesting it will be I have no idea 😉

    I can’t even tell my nephew and niece a proper bedtime stories, but yes, I try to make something up from daily life. Our life is filled with stories, all around us, we just have to find the right one and see what fascinates us! 🙂

    Lovely post!

  15. @subWOW You can tell a story. I see you do it in print all the time. Don’t over think it- just share a beginning, middle and end. If you practice that you’ll find that it becomes easier.

    See, if I was you I would say a few words in Chinese and then tell people the story behind whatever it was you said. It doesn’t have to anything other than “Where is the bathroom” and you can run with that.

    But if you do, make sure that no one understands because that would blow your cover. 😉

  16. @TLanceB Lance, I love that you include music in your posts and that I almost always have a video to watch. It is much appreciated.

  17. @John Falchetto Looking back to see how far we have come is one of the few positive reasons to review the past. It makes it easier to put it all in perspective.

    In college I used to wrestle with a fraternity brother who was 6’5 and weighed 275 pounds. He threw me through the closet doors at the house, but never got me out the window. I’d like to say that I succeeded where he failed, but it wouldn’t be true. I did take him down a few times, but he was too damn big to fit through the window. Ah, the stories that we could tell….

  18. I am sorely lacking in the ability to tell a story. No, really. I cannot even tell my kids bedtime stories, just making them up. I am bad at improv. (Good thing I killed my dream of being a thespian as early as I did…) This has nothing to do with writing in a language that is not my native tongue. I cannot describe a scene in Chinese either. All this is to say I agree with your first musing and I admire people with the storytelling abilities, you included. I also love your last musing.

  19. TLanceB says:

    Yesterday I did something stupid. I looked at my blog statistics. Then I compounded the ignorance by getting on google+ and whining about my lack of blog growth. A couple of people set me straight and now I read your post and think “what the hell was I thinking”.

    There is so much here to comment on Jack. I’ll just wrap it up by writing, you posted well today. You post well often.

    Thanks for letting me read and for keeping me encouraged without having to tell me.

    Lance

  20. Ralpho is right, we are our own worst enemy. <When I have bumps in the road I look back to the worst day I have lived through and think, heck this is nothing I have been through much much worse.

    Risk being thrown out a window ? Now there is a promise I dont get everyday 🙂

  21. weforgotyounot says:

    @TheJackB You’ve created a monster! Actually I made it happen. I told my husband (through laughter) about the new word. He walked around the room repeating it, saying he was going to use it at work today as a threat to get productivity up! He loves big words.

    Betsy

  22. @marianne.worley Confidence is an amazing thing. We carry ourselves differently when we feel confident about ourselves and what we have to offer. People sense urgency and desperation, so feeling confident can be a great boost.

    Good luck with the project. Hope it comes through.

  23. @Faryna That is one of the best parts of the movie. My friends and I throw that out all the time when we are messing around.

  24. @KimDavies I’d make an awfully small island, wouldn’t really be room for a beach. The way I see it there is no point in being an island without having a nice sandy beach. 😉

    I agree with you that we have a lot of resources. It is one of my favorite things about the blogosphere. The hardest part isn’t so much the idea of being an island but of asking for help. Some people just aren’t good at it.

    Hope all is well in your world. I appreciate you coming by again.

  25. @SeattleDad As they say in the old country, from your mouth to G-d’s ears.

  26. @SeattleDad As they say in the old country, from your mouth to G-d’s ears.

  27. @weforgotyounot Defenestrate is one of my favorite words. It is a word filled with whimsy and music…to me.

    Tell your husband not to worry because I am angry, grumpy and twice as mean as the devil. After I rip his horns off and smack him silly with his tail the world will be filled with sunshine and rainbows.

    P.S. I intend to defenstrate him too. 😉 Thank you for the good wishes, I appreciate it.

  28. @weforgotyounot Defenestrate is one of my favorite words. It is a word filled with whimsy and music…to me.

    Tell your husband not to worry because I am angry, grumpy and twice as mean as the devil. After I rip his horns off and smack him silly with his tail the world will be filled with sunshine and rainbows.

    P.S. I intend to defenstrate him too. 😉 Thank you for the good wishes, I appreciate it.

  29. I know exactly what you mean about having that feeling that things are going to turn around. I haven’t had the best year either, but I suddenly got the urge to re-organize my home office (dining room) and just starting the week organized made me feel more confident. I have a call tomorrow to discuss a big, new project. I’ve also been feeling like I need to polish my resume. My first guest post is appearing next week. You get a little bit a confidence and it carries you far.

  30. Man in Black: [as he is unsuccessfully fighting Fezzik] Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what?

    Fezzik: I just want you to feel you’re doing well.

  31. Man in Black: [as he is unsuccessfully fighting Fezzik] Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what? Fezzik: I just want you to feel you’re doing well.

  32. KimDavies says:

    “I am a rock. I am an island.” (I’m singing the song as I type, but I like S&G’s version better :D)

    Now, that is not true, Jack, and I am glad that you realize that. There are people who are willing to listen about what you are going through and offer their support in different ways. These people will help you make dire situations into advantages.

    Chin up, Jack. No matter how corny this may sound, but there is always a rainbow after the rain and a silver lining to a cloud. 😀

  33. SeattleDad says:

    I like it when I get those feelings. Means that subconsciously I feel like I have my shit together. Hope it is something big.

  34. kmueller62 says:

    @krisbradley sure thing. either next week or the following

  35. krisbradley says:

    @kmueller62 I am certainly going to check him out now. If you think of it, please let me know when he appears on your blog @TheJackB

  36. kmueller62 says:

    @krisbradley yeah. @TheJackB is a great writer. He’s written a guest post for me that will appear sometime in the next few weeks

  37. weforgotyounot says:

    de·fen·es·trate  [dee-fen-uh-streyt] verb (used with object), de·fen·es·trat·ed,de·fen·es·trat·ing.to throw (a person or thing) out of a window.

    HAHA! Learned a new word! You’re a good writer.

    And you made me laugh:”Not so long ago I wrote the devil a letter and said that when he finished fighting with that fiddler down in Georgia he should come look me up. Smarter men than I wouldn’t go looking for trouble but sometimes I’d rather swim out to meet it in single combat and get it over with.”

    My husband has a really bad nightmare at least 2x’s a year. Always the same. Just him and pure evil battling it out. Stress? Now I’ll think of this. And after he calms down I’ll chuckle.

    And I’ll pray that you’ll have a terrific year!

Trackbacks

  1. […] best bloggers are storytellers. I wrote that last summer and I still believe it to be true. It is part of why I visit certain bloggers over and over and […]

  2. […] of you may be familiar with The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers, The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers Part 2 and The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers- 2013 […]

  3. […] this is content ran once before and so did The Best Bloggers Are Storytellers Part 2 but I wanted to test something out. […]

  4. […] By the way, if you're wondering why you, a blogger, should bother writing stories, then know this: the best bloggers are storytellers. […]

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