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What Story Do You Tell Others?

Recently a friend of mine (we’ve been friends since college) went on a vacation.  She visited a lot of historical places, had her picture taken in front of a multitude of statues, and went to several museums.

These are activities that she never does when she is at home.  I will invite her to a new exhibit opening at a local museum, another friend will ask her to go on a historical home and garden tour, and she almost always turns us down.  The once or twice a year we can get together for a visit we inevitably end up going on a shopping trip instead to stores with eclectic goods or antiques . . . Or furniture shopping  . . .  Or somewhere that sells shoes . . .

“If you don’t like visiting local museums, why do you go to them somewhere else?” I asked her.

“Oh, I did a lot of shopping, but I wanted to do stuff that was interesting so I could tell people about it when I got back,” she replied.

I found this idea fascinating.  My friend felt that she had to do things she did not really enjoy in order to have a good story to tell about her trip when she returned.  This is an attitude that I have noticed in others as well.

However—is it really necessary to go outside your own interests/experiences in order to have a story to tell?

What is mundane to us might be wonderfully exotic to someone else.

What is interesting to us might also be interesting to our audience.

We just have to give it a chance.

What are your thoughts on this?  Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. It’s a really interesting concept – have you thought about it the other way round as well? Those with jam packed lives that may clash / cross with their various friendship groups have to edit-out / sensor their stories… what tales do you tell to which set of friends and how long can you keep the threads separate? Great thought provoking post, thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. chrispavesic says:

      That is an interesting concept. It would depend on the depth of the friendship. If it is a friend that you have had for years, I would hope that you do not have to edit as much.

  2. sharonledwith says:

    Actually, that’s how I got the idea to write a book about saving an animal shelter. I worked in our local shelter, and my imagination kicked in! I also volunteered at the local literacy counsel and got another idea to write a novel. Both these novels are the basis for my teen psychic mystery series! Who knew that could happen just by flexing my wings and sharing my experiences? Cheers, Chris!

    1. chrispavesic says:

      This is a wonderful story Sharon! Inspiration comes from the most interesting places.

  3. When I was young, I always collected leaflets and other literature from the places I visited so in later life I could look at where I’d been and convince myself I’d had a life lol. I have no idea where all those leaflets, guidebooks and pamphlets are now!

    1. chrispavesic says:

      They are hiding and will appear at a mysterious time! (Sounds like a good story idea actually!)

  4. sloanetaylor1 says:

    I need to enjoy what I’m doing to have any enthusiasm in relating it to others. The only time I really step out of my comfort zone is in writing. That’s when I’m all hell bent for leather to exercise my wings.:)

    1. chrispavesic says:

      To quote Wicked-“everyone deserves a chance to fly!”

  5. Dianna Gunn says:

    Interesting! I can’t say I’ve ever thought this way, but maybe that’s just because I’m a big arts & history person so I’ll do all the things that “sound good to other people” on my own.

    1. chrispavesic says:

      I love all of the arts and history places/events too. I would say I haunt those places, but that sounds a bit creepy–or maybe the start of a story!

  6. C.D. Hersh says:

    If you are doing things you don’t like how is that a vacation? The stories would be boring if you weren’t interested in what you did or write. The voice would be dull, in my humble opinion. (Donald)

    1. chrispavesic says:

      I agree. If we truly enjoy something, that enthusiasm comes across when we tell a story!

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