Friday, March 7, 2014

A story about stories

Today was the first day since starting March SOLSC that I didn't already have a topic ready, waiting, and partially written. And naturally that obliged me to start thinking about what I should write about—and what I shouldn't.

Sometimes, I just want to share my opinion. Sometimes I want to get a little bit preachy. Sometimes I want to write sweeping statements about the world, humanity, morality, and big words. Yet I am writing for the Slice of Life Story  Challenge—not an "essay" challenge or a "missive" challenge or a "manifesto" challenge.

And that's fine. I'm not very good at writing essays or missives or manifestos. Occasionally I get grandiose ideas about these sorts of topics, and I start to lay them out in Springpad for future blogging. And then they languish. After a few sentences, what seemed like a brilliant idea has fallen flat. It's rare that I actually follow through with a philosophical topic.

In thinking about why these topics aren't quite right for Slice of Life, I realize why they don't work for me in general: it's because they aren't stories. My best (or at least, most readable) blog posts are stories. They're what I'm good at.* They have a beginning, a middle, a few silly digressions,** and an end. And at the end, that's where the moral lies, if there's one at all. I usually try to end my posts with some sort of conclusion, but I guess that's not necessary. Sometimes a story for the story's sake is good enough. As contrasted to a lesson for the lesson's sake, which is typically just boring.

Having thought the dickens out of all that, I suddenly realize I have a topic for my Day 7 Slice of Life! I will tell about how I came to learn that, when struggling to find the words to express how I feel about deep subjects like the distribution of wealth, maybe the best approach is to find a story and express it that way.

Not every story has a moral, but this one does: Some way, somehow, every moral has a story.

*Not to toot my own horn or anything.
**Like these ones.


Jackie said...

Your posts are always interesting and entertaining...and this one is too. Your last line is so true...every moral has a fact, probably lots of stories. And while I am writing is Hansel doing? :-)

Darlene Mitchell said...

I love your story about stories....especially the way you wrapped it up. I am looking forward to see what you have cooked up for day 8. :-)