If you’ve read anything on this blog, you have probably already picked up on this:
Hopefully that list will eventually include screenplays, which is currently the goal.
But whether that goal ever becomes a reality is secondary to the fulfillment of creating stories to be shared with others. As with many things, the visible milestone of publishing a novel, performing your own music, or producing a play or movie is only a reflection of all the growth and effort that went into the creation. When you consider that publicity and applause only last a few moments, you realize that to make your work about those things would be pretty short-sighted.
So at least for me, it’s not about becoming a best-selling author or Oscar-winning screenwriter. It’s about telling stories that resonate with the parts of our humanity of which we are often unaware, but which make us who we are.
I’ll say it: I’m proud of my first published novel, The Exile. But I hope my next is even better. I’m proud of my first children’s book, The Misadventures of Melvin the Missing Sock. But I hope my next one is even cuter. As I work toward the production of my two-act play Between the Lines, I hope my next script is even tighter. And as I prepare to release my first recorded original songs, I hope the next ones will sound even better.
A person I consider a mentor in storytelling is Lee Habeeb, the host of the national Our American Stories. I met Lee during my sophomore year at Hillsdale College and had the privilege of writing and recording two personal stories for his show. One thing I learned from Lee is that every story we tell needs to be a part of us, or it will mean nothing to anyone else.
This is true, no matter what genre you write. Sci-fi, thrillers, romance, historical fiction, acoustic ballads, poems in iambic pentameter– if the story doesn’t bleed with your blood when you cut it, it will leave no lasting impression on others.
So if you decide to follow this blog, read The Exile or The Misadventures of Melvin the Missing Sock, download my songs, or someday attend a show of mine– first of all, thank you. Second, I cannot promise you will like it. Not every story is for everyone, and few are perfect. But what I do promise is that anything of mine you read, hear, or see is a genuine reflection on some aspect of the journey we are all on. And hopefully the next one will be even better!