Reflections on Writing a Story
If you may indulge me for a moment, I would like to share with you a great victory I have achieved. I have written a story. A complete story, albeit only the first Act of a grander narrative, a complete story nonetheless. It was through this process of writing from August of 2021 to August of 2022 that I discovered so much about myself. A quarter-lifetime of hesitation, of doubt, of weightlessness was cast aside. In retrospect so much anxiety in my life was self-inflicted. An untamed imagination with no outlet to out-pour vivid dreams!
I gave up on creativity more than once. Health problems, money problems, faith problems, insecurity in my ability to write and a tremendous wall toward traditional artistic endeavors. In my stupor of trouble I actively destroyed much of my notes, outlines, scripts, and drafts. For two years of my life I took a break from all artistic desire. Destroying my past was a mistake, but taking a break was needed. I had a life to reconstruct and a newfound faith was the cornerstone.
After years of floating between jobs an amazing thing happened. Michael of St. Joseph came into my life. He was and is me, myself, and I. But he was also someone else. A rekindling of a dormant (not dead) flame. A strange realization of a childish idealized future self. One of ego-stroking self importance. Of great fame and success! Oh how great that Michael of St. Joseph would have been! A touch taller, thinner, and stronger I might add.
But this Michael was not from a dream. He was real and he was me. I am Michael of St. Joseph. I discovered poetry! What a wonderful device in this vapid world of prose we find ourselves in! Without an artist’s brush I could weave wonders and express myself. But not express myself so openly or so clearly as to invite criticism or future embarrassment. I could keep secrets while also becoming a showman to all the world. I could learn direction, narration, cinematography, and whatever else I dreamed!
Well… For as long as my very brief bit of savings lasted. I spent my money not on vacations, cars, jewelry or investments. All of these things can be good and pleasing. But my deepest desire was to know who I was. Who was this mysterious Michael of St. Joseph? We know where he’s from, we know his name… But where is he from? The only way to know this was to write him letters, poetry, stories… To interview this man and kindly pick his mind to pieces.
Michael of St. Joseph connected a boy from a past life to the man of a new life. The stories long abandoned he resurrected. That which the young boy sought to destroy he reconstructed. The paranoia of forgetfulness and the passage of time was nothing to Michael. He remembered everything. He was given a gift from God and understood how to use it. It was for a sad sick lonely boy to accept this gift as his own. To become Michael of St. Joseph.
And so he did. Gingerly, tepidly, carefully did I become Michael and realize my purpose in life. A divine destiny bestowed onto ignorant me. A path so often I rejected despite it being my true desire. And so, in a years time, I wrote a book. Part of a book to be more specific. Act I of my fantasy story Where Things Went. A story inspired from all the arts I was too stunted to create myself. Of music, of drawing, of theatre and cinema. The worries of concession or incompleteness vanished the more I committed myself to the project.
And now, it is finished! Done. Complete. Fin. Act I that is. It is in my vision to be a 3 Act story of roughly 100,000 words in length! I am a third of the way there and unbelievably excited to share this story with you. It means the world to me. It does not matter if anyone or no one joins me for the adventure. Whether this is the start or the end of a storytelling passion it does not make a difference. What matters is I discovered the man Michael of St. Joseph.
We did something great together.