I’m a story teller. Does that make me a writer?
In the blink of an eye, God willing, I’ll be 59 years old. Somehow I always thought by the time I was damn near sixty, I’d know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I guess I have to grow up first, damn it!
When I first declared myself a writer, a recurring piece of advice was “write what you read.” At that time I was heavy into romantic suspense, which I still enjoy today. But my reading is eclectic – I just finished the auto-biography of Chris Kyle, American Sniper. Now I’m reading Willie Nelson’s It’s a Long Story: My Life. Before that I enjoyed Nora Robert’s The Liar and Stephanie Evanovich’s Big Girl Panties; A Novel. Next up in my ‘to be read’ queue is Jayne Ann Krentz River Road or I might start Stephen Hunter’s military series. I love humor. I love reading about witchcraft and ghosts. I guess the bottom line is: I love reading.
I also love writing. My stack of manuscripts is predominately romantic suspense, but I’ve also tried my hand at humor and paranormal. Somehow, no matter what I start out writing, dead bodies always seem to show up – which isn’t so surprising if I’m writing suspense or a ghost story – kind of unsettling when I’m attempting humor.
So, here I am at a crossroads in this career that has never gotten off the cutting room floor. Am I a writer? OR am I storyteller? Is it the same thing? Does loving to read translate into being able to put words on a page in a fashion other people would enjoy?
I routinely post rants and tirades on Facebook about the minutia of my mundane. People (YOU people) seem to enjoy reading those. But, seriously – a book of those stories? They are simply my take on the everyday. That’s not WRITING – that’s STORY TELLING! And yet, as I go through this crisis of career (okay, that’s a bit overdramatic, but I AM a story teller, so I get some leeway) I seem to be receiving signs — dare I say lightning bolts — from strangers. People I barely know who go out of their way to tell me how much they enjoy my Facebook rants.
Now, I’m faced with a decision. Abandon the romantic suspense novella and start a collection of humorous short stories? If I do that, it will result in a second ice bucket dunking on August 1st. Think the internet could survive another round of me showing up in a bikini?
Meanwhile, my grandson is on his way over to spend the day with Gigi, so I think I’ll go put on a swimsuit and forget everything but enjoying this beautiful day with an awesome kid!
P.S. I would love it if any of you could give me the answers to these questions! Although, I do sincerely hope your answer isn’t motivated by causing me to receive a second Ice Bucket Bikini Bath!
P.S.S. And no, Lorinda, you do NOT get to hold the bucket!
Terri Richison (writing as Terri Rich) lives in Clear Lake City, TX with her husband and a giant Great Dane (giant even by Great Dane standards). She is working on self-publishing women’s fiction and avoiding getting a pie in the face if she doesn’t produce pages for every critique session! PIES OR PAGES! Terri started telling stories almost as soon as she could talk – she learned everything she needed to know about storytelling at her grandmother’s knee. Craft however, is something she is still learning – those damn commas give me nightmares!