Blogs are a scary thing. They involve telling people what you think, and they require you to get over the fear that no one wants to hear from you, that people will think you’re an idiot, and that your ideas aren’t worth the phosphor they’ll occupy if anyone should actually call up your blog in the first place.
So this blog will be a manifesto of sorts. I’ve told stories since as far back as I can remember. Don’t know if my dad does, but I remember when I wrote a story in the first grade that I asked him to look over, and he gave it the full treatment–went over it like a proper editor and had me respond like a proper writer. I was shocked at first, unable to understand why I’d get treated like an adult, but what he did for me then has stuck with me till today.
I can give a litany of platitudes: stories are in my DNA, in my blood; I’m as much a storyteller as I am a woman, as I’m five and half feet tall. I spend an enormous amount of my time thinking about characters, situations, toying with what-ifs. It’s a wonder I get anything done in real life. Clearly this is something close and important to me, so it’s not a stretch to say that there are a lot of things I want to talk about when it comes to stories. Lots of things are stories. Movies, novels, short stories, stand-up routines, photographs, classified ads, songs, they’re all conveying something. Sometimes they do it inadvertently, and that’s where a lot of magic happens. Sometimes they do it on purpose, and when they’re done well, they can change lives.
I want to talk and think about what it means to relate an emotional truth, or a series of events, or a morsel of wisdom, or punchline, or a hooky chorus. I want to talk about what it is to respect an audience, about what happens when an audience is disregarded or abused. I want to call attention to the travesties of disrespecting media, suborning them to empty messages and manipulative trickery. And I want to talk about the most basic components of storytelling: language, image, and sound.
It’s high time I made a real effort when it comes to this thing that ostensibly is so close to my heart. If all goes well, I’ll be accepted into a doctoral program in 2011, and I’ll really need to have my act together. So maybe this is a dry run for that kind of critical thought. Maybe this is an early commitment to the work I will need to do to earn the degree. Regardless of the particulars, I hope the results of this blog will blow my expectations away, and I’ll come away with a deeper understanding and respect for the thing I once said I wanted to make a living by doing.