What counts in the story of your life

By: Annie Sragner, Arts & Life Editor

My internal child is both delighted and stunned by the fact that I turned 22 this past week. Though in the long run this is still considered a young age, I feel as though I have trodden further into the ambiguity of adulthood and away from comfort of childhood.

But instead of succumbing to the nervousness that accompanies worrying about the future and getting older, I’ve been appreciating this milestone as a new chapter, not the end of an era.

When I step back to reflect on the events that brought me to this moment, I enjoy considering how all of these collective aspects of my experiences contribute to the story of my life. The more tall tales I accumulate over time, the more exposition and plot I contribute to the story of “Annie.”

As the main character of my story, I have primary control over how it unfolds. Although unexpected circumstances may arise to spice up the plot, it is essentially up to me to keep the story moving. I have the choice to contain the setting to one location, or to expand it across thousands of miles.

Through creating my own story, I also like to consider how I contribute to the stories of those I encounter along the way. In each experience I share with someone, I have the opportunity to be a protagonist, antagonist, supporting character or even villain in that situation—and knowing that I am responsible for writing their story in some way makes me want to be the best possible author.

A good author should consider the perspective of his or her audience while writing the story. Is the story only meant for a few select readers, or would it be published for a large audience?

And what about the book itself? Would the story be a comic book full of vibrant illustrations? Or perhaps an epic novel with text spilling onto the next page? Maybe it would be a sturdy hard-cover book, a paperback or e-book. It could be styled as a dense textbook that longs to have each word read, or a casual periodical that invites the reader to skim or flip through.

No matter the format of the story, it is the content that counts. Instead of skipping to the end to see how everything works out, make your story a page-turner that leaves you satisfied with the storyline and character development.

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