I come from a long line of story tellers.
- It comes first in the genes – quite a bit of Irish blood when McCarthy married a McDonough
- We have letters from as far back as the early 1800s that show our ancestors could paint word pictures
- My brothers were and are all-star story tellers, not just jokes but also spinning yarns from the thinnest of threads
- One of my sisters writes brilliant, award-winning poetry and stories, another is a PhD in communications who has written many papers and even a book about stories and currently trains care-givers how to use stories to manage their work
- My Galway-based writer/poet sister also has a daughter who is an internationally well-known, London-based professional story teller. http://claremurphy.org/ Along with Clare, I count at least another 10 of our 25 children (I have nine brothers and sisters) who are carrying on our story telling skill at least one more generation.
This coming month, it will be 10 years since Alice and I sold our first company to Riverside. I’ve decided to celebrate by writing myself the story of what’s happened in those ten years. My partners are helping me collect the data so that I can make it (at least reasonably) fact-based. No matter what though, I will write this little history as if I were telling it around a campfire. Here’s why, which is also the purpose of this month’s blog.
When we commit our stories to writing, however great or small we think they are, we:
- Learn by writing what (really) happened. My favorite Will Rogers line is “I’ve experienced great tragedy in my life; little of which ever actually occurred”. By being as honest as I can, and committing those thoughts to writing, I usually get a better idea of occurrences as well as my perceptions of same. Few of my perceptions ever perfectly match the actual happening, by the way – that’s where the learning comes from.
- Learn how it happened. Here again, by unfolding my story onto an actual timeline I remember what action caused what outcome. Sometimes great to see, sometimes awful but always instructive to my future.
- Leave a trail for those I love and for theirs who I will never know.
What’s your story? Have you ever written any of it down? Shouldn’t you?
Especially when getting started, it need not be long. Nor should we ever hope to be Clare Murphy and have it be exciting or uplifting or moving in any way. She works her trade diligently and daily.
For us, it should be enough just to get to know a little more about ourselves.
And leave a few bread crumbs along our path.