What is Your Storytelling Superpower?

First of all, I must apologize once again.

13342865_271110166611573_7045568650889436214_nIt has been over a week since you’ve heard from me. I have a good excuse, really I do. My life has changed (read: things are crazy and chaotic) greatly in the past week, and I’ve been trying to catch up. Sometimes keeping up with the rest of my life is so difficult.

It has been over a week since you’ve heard from me. I have a good excuse, really I do. My life has changed (read: things are crazy and chaotic) greatly in the past week, and I’ve been trying to catch up. Sometimes keeping up with the rest of my life is so difficult.

Though I am behind with the DIY MFA Street Team questions, I am going to continue to answer them because the questions are so thought provoking.

The question I am answering this week is: “What’s Your Storytelling Superpower?”

For the writers in the group or readers too, the tendency is to stick to a “type” of character. For reading, this is the same. Readers tend to stick with the same types of books and only occasionally branching out. Sometimes awareness is the best thing for you.

Gabriela has a Storytelling Superpower quiz. You can find it here. Try it and see what answer you get. I’ve taken the quiz a couple of times and have gotten the same answer: Survivor.

Before I go further, let’s talk about the different types of storytelling superpowers. According to the quiz, there are four: Underdog, Disruptor, Survivor, and Protector.

The Underdog is someone who has a deep desire for change, either themselves or the world around them.

The Disruptor tends to be rebellious against the status quo.

The Survivor works very hard to survive whatever life throws at them.

The Protector sees the world in danger and will do anything they can to protect it.

Knowing where you fit into this scale will help with your writing. It may even challenge you to break out of the rut you’ve developed. Gabriela is running a week long class about this very subject later this month. Here is the link to sign up and more information.

STSP-Tweet-SurvivorMy storytelling superpower is Survivor. This result is both surprising and expected. My stories are often told from this type of character. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, perhaps it simply is.

I’m excited about the class and can’t wait to learn more about both myself and my writing.

If you’d like to join the class check out DIY MFA.com/STSP. You’ll be glad you did.

Life is Better in Bare Feet

2014-09-19 00.36.21Life certainly has its ups and downs. Lately, it seems, things have been more down than up.

Some things are good, like the fact that spring seems to have arrived. Even in Northern Michigan, things are growing, and the sun is shining.

Other things are not; like the amount of stress I’ve been feeling lately.

As I’ve been following Gabriela and her DIY MFA, one of the things that she has talked about is Honoring My Reality. This statement in her manifesto, which can be read here.

Through the ups and downs, I’ve tried to understand and implement this in my life.

I’ve tried to honor my reality by saying no when things got a little overwhelming. As difficult as it is to say no, I think it is more difficult to say no to things that are high on the priority list.

unnamedI’ve had to say no to regular blog posts. Not blogging means that life has gotten too difficult, and changes need to be made.

I’ve had to say no to my normal daily writing. I’ve discovered that honoring my reality means that on those days when I can’t do just one more thing, it is okay not to sit down and pound out 500 words. I try hard on those days not to beat myself up.

I’ve learned that failure is an option and that failure isn’t always a bad thing. I truly believe that something good can come out of something bad. It often takes some time to see what that something good is but is there if you look for it.

I’ve learned that not finishing a challenge is okay, especially if in honoring my reality, it is best for me.

I’ve had to redefine failure in my life. I’ve often read that the real failure is giving up, and since I haven’t done that, I haven’t failed.

I’ve also learned that I prefer to live barefoot.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Since it is spring and shoes are optional, I’ve taken advantage and kept the tootsies uncovered.feet-657207_1280

I feel more grounded with the earth beneath my feet. More real.

I’ve decided that to Honor my Reality, acknowledging that simple moments in bare feet are the best.

Necessary Sparks

11174516_10208812807575507_8059694360850354464_oWhy I Write

I’ve been thinking a bit about sparks lately. Sparks that light fires.

When I first met my husband, one of the first things he taught me was how to build a fire.

Now, I was a Girl Scout and had been a camper for my whole life; I knew how to start a fire. Hubby showed me a better way.

Fast and easy with the right pieces of dry wood were all it took to get me warm. Being warm was and is important to me. A spark was what it took to get the flame started.

Sparks come in other forms too. Just the right spark and you can move mountains.

What do sparks have to do with writing?

When I was six-years-old, my 1st-grade teacher lit a spark in me to write a book.

I’d always read. In fact, I don’t remember not reading. My mother tells me I learned by watching Sesame Street. The only thing I knew was I loved books and stories especially because I could go to the bookshelf and read the book I chose.

In first grade, my teacher said we were going to write a book. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to take it home and show my mom.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when I discovered our class was making one book, which my teacher would keep, and I would only be writing one page. My thoughts were that she would be teaching us how to write a book. I was crushed.

However, this created a spark within me to write a book. Eventually, this spark turned into a goal to have a book on the New York Best Sellers list became a life long dream.

The problem with sparks is if they aren’t given the right fuel, they often smolder or even go out. I spent nearly the next 40 years attempting to find the right combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen to fan that spark into a flame.

To this day, I don’t know what turned my smoldering spark into a flame. Most likely it was a combination of things: timing, along with a willingness to begin, probably had a lot to do with it. The right resource coming at just the right time also helped.

Why do I write?

Simply put, I write because I can’t not write. Writing has become like breathing. This need to write has sustained me through difficult times. I have rejoiced when an idea comes together and works.I have written through happiness and grief, frustration and all those moments in between.

I’ve met new people through writing. This community grows each year, and I’ve learned to create stories that move the human heart. And, I’ve realized there is still so much to learn.

Every day I am grateful for writing. I haven’t yet reached my dream of publishing a novel, but that is on my horizon.

The spark that began when I was six continues to this day. At times, the flame is high, and the words tumble out of me. Other times, the fire is low and in need of fuel. The fire is always burning.

Why do you write?

Fan the flames of your writing at DIY MFA.