“Why Did You Decide To Get Married, Buy a House, and Have Two Kids?”
This is the forty-first installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
Anytime we don’t follow social norms, we end having to justify ourselves repeatedly to curious people. People are always asking one another about the out-of-the-box choices they’ve made. We never ask people who have followed the status quo questions like, “Why did you decide to get married, buy a house, and have two kids?” But as soon as we do something out of the norm, we end up having to explain it to others our whole lives. In fact, you might already be bored of telling your out-of-the-box story, but I am sure you have it memorized as a schpeel you tell those who ask. For this week’s exercise, we’ll use your memorized script as a jumping off point for fresher storytelling.
- Choose an out-of-the-box thing about yourself that people are always asking you to explain.
- Tell this story in paragraph form (prose) in the third person (she/he not I/me) as if you are explaining yourself as this other person you know.
- Think of 4-6 different possible titles for this story.
- Choose the most compelling title and write it at the top of a blank page.
- From this title, tell another story. Give yourself permission to have it be about something totally other than your out-of-the-box story, as long as it still fits the title. This time, write in the first person (I/me) even though it’s no longer about you.
How did you do? Did writing your own story in the third person give you any insights or unexpected emotions about the choice you made or the situation you found yourself in? Did the title you chose inspire an interesting new story, and did it feel refreshing to break free from the rehearsed story to telling something totally different? Did changing the person from third to first again help trigger a fresher voice for storytelling?
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