In the crazy-competitive, market-yourself, write-the-breakout-novel-or-fail world of becoming an author, it's easy to forget why the heck you're doing this in the first place. But the other day, a little memory from my first volunteer trip to Ghana popped into my head, and I remembered why I work so hard in my writing.
Remembering the Storyteller
Shallee ● Oct 27, 2010
I sat on a plastic chair under a mango tree, watching fishing boats sail the Gulf of Guinea. My four-year-old host sister dragged a chair across the yard and placed it right next to mine.
"Sistah Shallee," she said, climbing into the chair, "come, I will tell you a story."
"Okay, Nananua," I said. "Tell me a story."
"Once upon a time..." she paused, looking at me expectantly. When I didn't say anything, she said, "Sistah Shallee, when I say once upon a time, you must say 'time, time.' Okay? Once upon a time..."
I sat back in my chair and smiled. "Time, time."
"...there was a very, very, very, very, very bad boy..."
She went on to tell me of this boy and how he disobeyed his mother by wandering into the forest, where he was cursed by a witch. There were quite a few "very, very's," and sometimes the boy was momentarily a girl instead, but I clapped for her when it was over.
It made me smile as I remembered her brown eyes getting wider with excitement as she told her tale. She had created a wonderful story, and she wanted to share it.
That, I remembered, is exactly what I do. I imagine a story, or take one from my life, and it's wonderful enough to make my eyes go wide. Wonderful enough that I have to write it. Like Nananua, I am a storyteller at heart, and what is a storyteller if she doesn't share her stories?
That, I remembered, is why I write and rewrite and blog and research agents, striving for publication. Because I am a storyteller.
So, my friends, now I'm curious. What makes you do what you do? What gives you your passion?
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