Stories all around you


Walking back from the session by Brian Doyle on “Shaping an Essay” I saw a bumper sticker on a car with Oregon license plates that read “Keep Portland Wierd.” I think Brian would have liked that bumper sticker. Not necessarily because he thinks Portland–his hometown–is weird and needs to stay that way. More so, because there’s a story behind that bumper sticker and the person who chose to stick it on their car and make that proclamation to the world.

I can hear Brian asking the person, “What’s so weird about Portland and why do you want to keep it that way?” and “Do you really want to share that with the whole world?”

Brian shared some really inspiring tidbits for writing great stories–guess what? It’s not about the writing. It’s about the stories. “There’s an ocean of stories swimming all around you, all you have to do is open your eyes. We spend too much time thinking about the shape of the thing, when all you have to do is listen really hard, then put your butt in the chair and type really fast.”

The beauty of writing he said is that you “get to catch and shape stories and then you get to give them away.” You don’t need to establish the thesis of the essay…”no, don’t do that!” You don’t need a conclusion, ie ergo, therefore, in conclusion. Just tell me a story!

~posted by Lynn Rosendale


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