Earlier today I sketched out some basics to get fiction onto the page. Just storytelling, but there are a lot of things to think about. Creating character. Plotting. Sensory experiences. Making entertainment out of trouble, pumping up the drama so we care how things are going to work out, if they ever do, in a story.

“Wow, this is a lot. It sounds hard.” But notes went down onto the page about everything. My writer had it, that desire to tell a story.

On the bottom of my computer monitor there’s a little pink Post-It Note. A quote from creative coaching.

Once we acknowledge the truth, and stop fearing hard work, we grow enormously.

I would add, our storytelling ability and experience grows enormously, too. We aim ourselves at great. We fall short, but we aim again. In a part of my house next to the home studio where the classes and groups meet, there’s a beloved old poster. Under a sketch of a circus clown, it says “Why dream of being good, when you can dare to be great?”

Tom HanksAnd so I come to one of the moments that can keep me in the chair whenever it gets hard. It gets hard for all of us, no matter how long we do this storytelling thing, practiced through writing. Tom Hanks said it in A League of Their Own to Dottie, Gina Davis’s star catcher who’s leaving the all-girls team to go back to marriage. “It just got too hard,” she said.

“Of course it got hard,” said Hanks, her team manager. “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” More

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