My father likes to say that everyone is capable of being an author because we all have at least one story to tell: Our own.
I think he’s right, and that over time, we develop a script to explain our lives. It could go something like this: “I grew up in a small town, I got married right out of high school, we had kids, I worked in the local factory.” Or, in my case, “I grew up as a misfit, attended a lot of college, bounced around from job to job, married at the age of forty and ended up unemployed a lot of the time.”
The lens we tend to see ourselves through is composed not so much of our experiences as it is of the life script we have carefully developed. It’s as if we constantly fear that someone will angrily demand “explain yourself!” and that we need to have a reasonable sounding script all wrapped up and ready to go. The faithfulness of that script to historical truth can vary a great deal from one person to another.
Many bloggers have remarked that their posts all start to sound the same after a while, and that it can sometimes be difficult to even remember whether they have already told a particular story or not. I can definitely relate. I have come to realize that everything I write is filtered through the lens of my life script.
Participating in NaBloPoMo has helped me to understand how difficult it is to come up with something interesting to write about every day, something that doesn’t sound like a rehash of the same thing I already wrote yesterday and the day before that. Some days, I feel like an old grandpa buttonholing anyone who will listen with “Did I ever tell you about the time that…” (conveniently forgetting that I just told the same story five minutes ago). It’s as if I’ve become a parody of myself, stuck in a time warp à la Ground Hog Day.
Others may be smarter than I am, more witty than I am or more well-read than I am. For them, writing daily may be a lot easier than it is for me. And perhaps they even manage to break loose from their life story lenses and write from fresh perspectives that don’t look like day-old bread.
For me, however, writing every day is hard. I’ve already written about my long daily commute to work. Haven’t I already discussed my amazingly cute grandniece enough times? Should I write about the challenges of being a vegan again? I fear that anything I write about will bore me as much as it will bore you.
For now, I’ll just say that I’m glad that it’s Friday. that the weekend is upon us, and that I’ll be splitting the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend between my wife’s family and my own. Hopefully, we’ll get to spend time with everyone, and celebrate my father’s 81st birthday as well. After that, it will be December and we’ll begin our long, slow slide into Christmas.
But the best thing of all is that there is only one more week left in NaBloPoMo, after which I can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to being a weekend warrior.
I can hardly wait.