032 - The Power Of Stories

Here’s why it’s important that we keep writing no matter what

Image by Jez Timms

Here’s why it’s important that we keep writing no matter what

Welcome to the Editor’s Journal; A daily thought on writing, the creative process, art, work, the world and how it all goes together. Every morning I rise early, I sit here in the quiet of my kitchen and I write whatever’s prominent. I have a bunch of article ideas saved, so I’ll either pull from them or write something new. I also write at larrygmaguire.com. I hope you enjoy the read.

Our job as writers is to tell stories.

Our own stories, the stories of others, fictional stories, truth framed by a story, new and fresh ideas and so on. Whatever it is, whatever message we have to share, writing is how we do it.

When we write we write for one person, usually a version of ourselves. That’s how it feels to me anyway. Somebody we wish we were, or wish we weren’t.

There’s someone we want to reach out to, and that’s important for us so we can build our message on a good foundation. Trying to speak to everyone we usually end up speaking to no one.

We have hopes of course that our work will go further, will go viral, that some publication somewhere will pick up on our brilliance and republish our work.

But for most of us it doesn’t work like that. We’ve got to put the hours in at the keyboard in order to become good and consistent enough to be noticed.

Once in a while however we do make a connection. Someone on the other side of the world reads your stuff and reaches out to you.

I’ve had this a couple time recently and it’s what keeps me going.

There are moments when I wonder if what I’m doing benefits anyone, and when the feedback does come it makes it worthwhile.

Like this;

I wrote the article one afternoon a couple years ago on a whim. The dishwasher drives me crazy so I put an article together. Diana reached out on Twitter the other day to say that it was the anniversary of her brother's passing and when she found the article it reminded her of good times.

I know it’s small, but that really means something to me.

Diana left a comment on the article too;

A metaphor for life indeed. I just happened to read this story when I was reminiscing (more than usual) about fun and difficult times with my younger brother. He was also my dishwashing partner when we were kids. Tomorrow is the anniversary of his passing. So cliche’-ish, I know, but it really is the “little things” that seem to mean the most, when it comes to our family relationships. Thank you for sharing your touching memories.

Another Heart Felt Comment

On another article I wrote recently titled; “Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right” where I told the story of how I got an important lesson from my 10 year old son, Sam Cole reached out and shared a memory of his only son who passed away.

Way to go dad for listening and savoring and passing on your son’s comment. Aside from your family’s (wonderful) rushing around, I just hope you’re finding time to, privately, attentively kiss, hug and tell your kids — no matter what — that you love them. It’s important. NOW. Tomorrow could be your last day with them. ‘jes sayin’.

We lost our son, our only child, when he was 16, in a freak accident. He was a joy of a kid, a budding scholar, and finding his way in the world, and choosing good kids to hang with. Two weeks before the tragedy I had flown back from a UK business trip. I dropped my luggage, kissed and hugged my wife and sought out my son who was doing his homework at the computer. I gently hugged and kissed him and said, “I love you Charles.” He replied back, “Love you too, dad.” I am so friggin’ glad/thankful I let my heart do the talkin’.

Two weeks later he was dead.

Don’t screw around. KISS ’em! NOW!

-Sam Cole

One More That Made A Connection

I was hanging out clothes with my son a few weeks back and this story titled “The Washerwoman” came to mind in an instant. So I wrote it.

Catherine from San Francisco read the story and shared a memory;

I loved this story. When I was a teenager growing up in S.F. during the 1970s, all we had was a wringer washer and no dryer. When the weather was nice, we would hang the clothes out on the clothes line which was on the patio outside me and my sister’s bedroom. We lived in a flat on the third floor. I could see the tops of the other houses nearby and their yards as I hung out the laundry. I had learned to use one clothespin with two items to save on clothespins and space as the clothesline wasn’t very long.

I used to love the smell of the clothes when they came off the line. They smelled so fresh. I would hold the dry sheets in my hand and bunch them up so that I could put them right under my nose. I would take a deep breath and inhale all of that fresh air scent. I am now closer in age to the older woman in the story than the younger one, but I was reminded of when my children were small and I used to wash their clothes. I loved to fold their little shirts and pants and would place them in neat piles. Thank you for evoking a happy memory in times when we don’t seem to have enough of them.

-Catherine Hay

On The Right Path

Like you I want my stuff to go further, to reach as many people as possible and make a difference in people’s lives. I want to make my voice heard and I want to share my ideas.

I’m compelled to write, I don’t know why I simply am. I do it every day and I enjoy it. It’s my outlet.

I’m away with family right now, on holiday but I’ll keep up my practice. Early in the morning is best but if that doesn’t happen for one reason or other then no big deal.

I’ll find some time later in the day to knock out 500 to 1000 words.

And when I get responses from people I’ve never met to thank me for what I’ve written, that’s what makes it worthwhile and confirms to me that what I’m doing is right.

I’m on the right path.

Until tomorrow…

The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.

Like Some More of This Kind of Thing?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art, creativity, business & marketing. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.