Posts Tagged With: Story

What were you Made for?

What were you made for? What is your Purpose? Your Story?

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of…? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling…of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? …All the but hints of it — tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echos that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest — if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself — you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say “Here at last is the thing I was made for.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

 

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The Untamed Find Their Story

Jason Clark writes in his book Surrendered and Untamed:

When I was a kid it was possible for boys to kill evil giants and men to walk on water. When I was a kid it was possible to live inside a whale, a raging fire and a lions den. When I was a kid it was possible to pray for the sick and watch them recover. Shadows could heal, and the dead could be raised. When I was a kid I believed that with God, all impossibilities were possible.

But now Clark, as an adult, finds that this wonder has been turned into “tamed three point sermons.”

Even if one isn’t theistic in their beliefs, most will understand what Clark is writing about. No, it’s more than understanding. They feel it burning within them. We grow up searching for purpose, our story. Grand plans are made and lofty thoughts pondered. Nothing is impossible. The wonder of life and creation is still with us. Then, one day, we wake up in a land that looks nothing like what we imagined.

Reality, some people call it. Life.

These are excuses. And not very good ones.

Sometimes it takes time to find our part in the Story. Everything conspires to put a stop to uncovering what we were meant to be or do. Forces in the world want us to give up, throw in the towel. Every once in awhile there are glimpses of where we should be.

Memories. The sunset. The stars. Children who have yet been trained to give up, forget and not see.

Here’s to never giving up. Being revolutionary. Standing up to the status quo and those who say you cannot or should not, or won’t ever be.

Find your story. Don’t stop until you do. Not ever.

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Creating Your Author Brand (Pt. 2): Your Authentic Voice

Katie Phillips Creative Services

It’s my privilege to welcome Lisa to my blog today. I’ve known her for several years now and have watched her journey through difficult circumstances to find her bold, unique voice that is at once compassionate and compelling. Who better to share her story of discovering her authentic voice than this beautiful woman who has fought for it so hard? 

I spent ten years trying to brand myself.

If I wasn’t thinking about my personal brand as a writer, maker, and coach, I was working at digital agencies large and small that specialized in branding, reading up on the subject, teaching on it, and writing about it. For two and a half years I even ran a boutique branding agency that worked exclusively with creative entrepreneurs. I watched dozens of writers, artists, coaches, healers, and the like wrestle deeply with how to “show up” in their marketplace.

By the time…

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How to Create Your Author Brand (Pt. 1)

Katie Phillips Creative Services

Your author brand is nothing more than your authentic story. 

Let’s set aside all the fancy talk of platforms and networking, fonts and social media strategies, logos and websites, brand archetypes and all the “expert advice.” Because none of that matters until you know your story.

You probably think your story is your book. Your words on the page. And you’d be partially correct. But that’s not your whole story. 

Your story is the experiences and struggles that inspired you to write your book. Your story is all the late nights and early mornings typing away while your kids slept. Your story is the hidden wounds you work through with your characters and the message in your heart you’re desperate for people to know.

You’re living your story right now. 

And the story that you’re living is just as important – if not more – than the story you’re telling…

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What is Your Choice?

So many people get lulled into a day-to-day existence of hitting their marks, getting stuff done, running place to place — to do it all again the next day.  And the next.

Every so often there are tuggings on our minds, glimpses and reminders, that we are meant for more than just staring into televisions, playing with our phones and letting society tell us who we are and what we should be.

For brief moments we realize that we are part of an epic tale.  All is not what it seems to be. A war rages in us, around us. A question demands an answer: What is your part in the story? Will you embrace it or walk away into a bottomless abyss of whatever others have decided for you?

Milena chose to step through the veil. Ethan conquered the Darkness and embraced his strength. Kane stopped fearing what he was. Duncan would find his place among those like him. Kyra made the shadows flee from her. They all stood together against the impossible.

Among the Shadows not only tells their stories, but of what simmers in us all.

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“I must tell you a story”

Why do people read? Why do writers tell stories? in Epic, John Eldredge writes:

It goes far deeper than entertainment…Stories nourish us…we hope to find in someone else’s story something that will help us understand our own…Stories shed light on our lives. As Daniel Taylor has written, “Our stories tell us who we are, why we are here, and what we are to do…” That is why, if you want to know someone, you need to know their story. “But in order to make you understand,” explained novelist Virginia Woolf, “to give you my life, I must tell you a story.”

Tell yours, read that of others. Find your place in the Story.

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Have you Abandoned your Story?

Every wonder why stories speak to people as they do? Is it, as Brent Curtis and John Eldredge write in The Sacred Romance, that it is written into our very beings?

Life is not a list of propositions, it is a series of dramatic scenes. As Eugene Peterson said, “We live in narrative, we live in story. Existence has a story shape to it. We have a beginning and an end, we have a plot, we have characters.” Story is the language of the heart. Our souls speak not in the naked facts of mathematics or the abstract propositions of systematic theology…Contrast your enthusiasm for studying a textbook with…read[ing] a novel, or listen[ing] to the stories of someone else’s life.

Is it any wonder why stories of people finding their purpose, their part of the Story, never go away? A little Hobbit defeats evil and saves Middle Earth…frail Steve Rogers becomes Captain America…Luke Skywalker doesn’t want to stand on the sidelines anymore… Perhaps it is because we too often abandon our story?

Children aren’t a bad place to look when we’re trying to get beyond the cynicism of adulthood…Before skepticism takes over (what we mistakenly call maturity), children intuit the true Story as a fairy tale…the best fairy tales aren’t romantic in the poor sense of the word. They are realistic, only more so. There are ogres and evil sorcerers and wicked stepmothers, to be sure. But they are neither the whole story or the heart of it. There are genuine heroes and heroines and a cause to live for that is worth dying for. There is a quest or a journey strewn with danger and the stakes could never be higher.

Choose to not ignore that you are part of something bigger than your day to day tasks and busyness. Find your place in the Story.

It is not too late.

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The Power of Story

It has almost become a cliché in books and film. A woman that needs rescued or a man fighting for his girl. Even though women are no longer helpless maidens in distress in most tales, there is a fundamental mythos underlying these stories, and the modern iterations. Stasi Eldredge writes in Captivating:

“…every man longs for a Beauty to rescue. He really does. Where would Robin Hood be without Marian, or King Arthur without Guinevere? …There is nothing that inspires a man to courage so much as the woman he loves.”

All true and perhaps that’s why the storyline never gets old. No matter how old-fashioned social “experts” claim it is, this is the story people want to read. And perhaps, as in many stories, it is a reflection of an underlying reality.

The power of Story is that it reminds us, awakens us, to undeniable essences of our humanity.

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Whose Story are You In?

Are you an extra in someone else’s play, or are you the author of your own drama? …you must become both the author and star of your own story…However, too many of us succumb to a weak internal story informed by flawed but popular beliefs. We are reactionary to objective events, easily buffeted by the winds of change…we end up being extras in someone else’s story, reacting our way through life…[we all] have a unique reason for existing and a unique offering to the world…we must look deep within to find it. – Mark Divine, The Way of the Seal

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3 Whys

Why Does Every Story Have a Villain?

In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes:

Little Red Riding Hood is attacked by a wolf. Dorothy must face and bring down the Wicked Witch of the east…Frodo is hunted by the Black Riders…Beowulf kills the monster Grendel…Saint George kills the Dragon. The children who stumbled into Narnia are called upon by Aslan to battle the White Witch and her armies…

So why does every story have a villain?

“…Because yours does.”

What are the villains in your life, your Story? Addictions, vices, work, bad habits, crazy people… As Eldredge writes, we are “born into a world at war.” He is coming from the perspective of Evil that was long ago unleashed in the world and seeks to undermine all that is good.

Our stories have villains because our stories are inspired by life. Fiction is only fact in different clothes.

Why Fantasy Fiction?

Fantasy author R.A. Salvatore answers this in The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction:

Perhaps more than any other genre, fantasy is about the hero’s journey. In a world of seven billion people, with wars I can’t stop and legislation I can’t even read, the idea of one person being able to make a difference, the idea of one man or woman grabbing a sword and defeating the dragon and saving the village is quite appealing.

And perhaps it will inspire a hero or two in our own world to rise up.

Why Stories?

Why do people love fictional stories and adventures so much? Because they mirror what is inside us. A desire to do to great things and go beyond the horizon. Do what we were meant to be. There is destiny written on our souls for us to choose or ignore. Jason Clark writes in his book Surrendered and Untamed on this discovery:

I no longer desire to be on the fringe, yet neither will I try to fit the mold. I’ve come to see there’s swimming against the stream just to swim against the stream. And then there’s swimming against the stream like the salmon do — to give others life so others might live — and to get back home. You face predators along the way and the trip is exhausting and you die a thousand deaths, but you do it for the glory and the story.

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