My oldest daughter has recently added a new item to our nightly bedtime routine–telling us a story. She is four years-old, so most of them revolve around princesses or superheroes or food (her latest obsession is watching Kids Baking Championship). She sits on the bed and crafts a tale, partially with her words and partially with her wild hand gestures. Some nights my three-year old listens attentively, clapping her hands to her cheeks in delight any time there is a mention of a sparkly dress or a rainbow unicorn. And some nights she tries to copy her big sister and tell us her own story.
As I listen to a new tale each night, I find myself marveling at their imagination. And I wish I could loosen the reins on my inner editor, not worrying about judgement from others. Instead, just letting the story tell itself as my children do.
We all have stories inside of us. Real ones, memories from our lives–the good, the bad, and the in-between. Stories that deserve to be let out, whether in a journal for our own eyes only, in letters to our future grandchildren, or online for the whole world to see.
We also have the threads of fictional tales spinning in our heads. Anxious what-if scenarios that have the bones of a great thriller. Head-in-the-clouds daydreams that can be woven into a beautiful romance. Or questions that can fuel the fire of an epic fantasy series. These are also stories that deserve to be let out.
You don’t need a degree to be a writer. You don’t need a fancy laptop or a desk or a love of coffee (for the record, I hate coffee). What you do need is a narrative and the willingness to share it. So I am going to take a cue from my children and tell my stories passionately and without hesitation. Keep an eye out as I will be starting to post some of my short stories here on my website soon.