I’m always looking for a good story.
I’ve decided my weakness I need to address for IWSG this month is the fact that I always want to hear, or read, or tell, a story. I come from a family of storytellers. Notice I didn’t say I came from a family of WRITERS – that’s altogether different.
In my family, if you can’t tell a good story that entertains your listeners, then get out of the way for the person who can. If it’s funny, or horrifying, or baffling, that’s even better. The story gets extra points if the teller is poking fun at him or herself during it. Because if you can’t laugh at yourself, or get other people to do so, how are you entertaining your listeners?
Having to tell a story has turned into a stumbling block for blogging. My blog posts tend to be longer than they probably should be, and I don’t talk about things like word counts, drafts, submitting to agents, or the day to day of writing life, because I think that’s boring. I don’t want to read about it, so I don’t write about it. What I like about IWSG is the “we’re all in this together” mentality, but it’s nearly impossible for me to break out of my entertainment mindset and act like a regular blogger.
For example, today I went to the periodontist’s office to get my regular three-month gum scraping and scolding. (Yes, I floss regularly, so mind your own business.) I did what I always do when I go to the doctor, hairstylist, bank, or even when a plumber or repair person comes to my house. I asked, “What’s the weirdest patient/customer/incident you’ve experienced lately?” She told me about a recent patient whose plaque problem was so bad that his gums were actually flopping loose from the bone.
I genuinely want to know about weird experiences, so I can collect them and use them later. This way, the next time I’m at a swank cocktail party, I can say, “You know what my exterminator told me he found when he was spraying a house? An entire family of dead raccoons spread all over an attic like they were being posed by a killer!” You’re sure to get everyone’s attention with that tidbit, and maybe even a personal escort to your car.
Since I teach, and tend to be a chatty person, I collect horrifying stories like nerdy people collect stamps (however they do that.) If the story didn’t happen to me, and most of them have, it's happened to my friend, family or neighbors. What could be better to have than an arsenal of stories to amuse and horrify your audience? Isn’t that what comedians do?
Thus, I feel the need to tell stories, and I often think regular blog readers don’t know what to make of it. So all I can say is that I’m trying, in my own small way, to adjust. Or maybe I’m trying to make readers adjust to me. Either way, I don’t know how well it’s working, and that makes me a bit concerned. I don’t want to stress out about it, because who wants to read about that?
I bet they DO want to read about the time my principal locked me out of my classroom because he decided to use the room as a massage center for him and other staff members. More on that later, and it’s TOTALLY true.
Fine, I’m heading to my car.