On Motherhood & Storytelling
Either I don’t really feel like I have a lot of great stories to tell, or I don’t know how to tell them well.
Figuring that I need to get better at this story thing, if I’m ever going to write a book, last week I picked up a copy of A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Great book. In it, Don proposes something quite beyond learning how to write a better story. He challenges: what if we could live a better story?
I finished A Million Miles, enjoying every minute of it, and then decided for my next read to dive back into Love Does. The author of Love Does, Bob Goff, is friends with Don, so I figured another read through Love Does would be inspiring, and maybe it would give me more insight into this whole story concept.
It was, and it did. Halfway through the book, Bob is talking about how he took his kids around the world to meet world leaders. His kids gave each world leader a key, and invited them to come over to their house and hang out sometime. Sitting on an airplane, I put the book down and stared out the airplane window.
Could I do something half as adventurous as that with my kids, I wondered? I felt my nose scrunch up in response to my own proposal. Seriously, Whitney, you wonder if your house smells like diapers the way a high-school quarterback wonders if his arm pits smell. That’s hardly the confidence it’s going to take to invite world dignitaries to dine in your home.
But then I remembered that in A Million Miles, Don says that maybe we should try to live a better story. To me, he’s saying, “If you don’t like where you’re going, you better change directions.”
I have some pretty crazy dreams. I’d like to sail around the world with my kids. I’d like to live in the south of France for a year. I’d like my kids to experience some of the educational systems outside of the US. I’d like to buy a plane ticket to Tokyo, write half of a book on the way over there, have a few espressos at the airport, and get back on a plane and write the last half on the way back, like I once read an executive did to meet his deadline.
I understand story a lot better because of Don. If this was fiction, he would probably say that this would be a good spot in this blog post to include an exciting incident, something that would force me to action, and perhaps, inspire a happy ending.
I’m not sure what inciting incident will propel me forward from here. I got a paper cut this morning, but that’s not exacting working in terms of excitement or motivation.
But in an effort to wrap up this post with a happy ending, I’m delighted to tell you when I walked in the door from the airport last night, my house didn’t smell like diapers.
Baby steps, right?
p.s. If you’re as into books as I am, join me over on GoodReads.
Whitney- For me, the best thing about reading your stories is that you don’t just dream, you dream HUGE! I LOVE that about you and it always dares me to dream bigger, too! Thank you for the recommendation of “A Million Miles.” I was needing something new, as I just finished the audio version of “Love Does.” I read the actual book too, but the audio version is narrated by Bob and there is just something about hearing someones stories told their own voice makes it all that much more AUTHENTIC and relatable! Great download for a long drive or plane ride 🙂 xo
Thank you for the sweet comment, friend! So good to hear from you!