The Dilemma of Writing About Your Life

I think I know why more of us don’t write the stories of our lives. We feel like a small creature swimming in the ocean of our experiences. They feel WHALE-ish: BIG. MASSIVE. TOO MUCH. 

The dilemma is that there is too much to count. In frustration, we put away the idea of writing anything until that perfect day comes along when we have TIME. A better way to approach this WHALE is to reserve a PERFECT SPACE for writing each day.  

I’d like to share a poem I wrote a few years ago—and the story behind the poem—in hopes you will relate to this dilemma. The title had been running through my mind for at least 20 years. Since I didn’t consider myself a poet or a writer (much less an author), I didn’t know what to do with those seven words or what they meant. And then as I was writing Character Safari: Remember and Write the Storie of Your Life, these words flowed out of the air at the 99th and Bell Starbucks:  

If Only I Could Learn to Count

If only I could learn to count 

The days of pride, the nights of joy

My cherished ones, my baby boys.

The voice of knowing,

The humble pie—of great big failures

That changed my life.

The bad turned worst, the worst turned best.

Heroes, Angels and the rest

Who passed me by, who left their mark

Throughout my life, upon my heart.

There is too much to count and yet,

I see it all—a treasure chest.

How rich, how rich 

This life I live.

Those who love me,

Those who give.

I count and smile and count again,

I’ve learned to count at last, Amen.

Jan Whalen, MASL

You do have a lot to count, and that’s why I am so please that the STORY CARD WORKSHOP has been received with such enthusiasm. Truth be told, this is the 3rd incarnation of the original book and the answer to the question: Why aren’t people who SAY they want to write about their lives, actually WRITING or recording or telling their life stories? 

Maybe a a Story Card Workshop is in your future. Here’s the link to the June 1st workshop in Tempe. I’m especially happy that part of the proceeds will go to our HOST’S Community Garden Project, and we’re adding a BONUS hour so that you can experience a method that teaches you how to write faster to reach our goals with ease! Join us. 

I can’t even begin to count the benefits you’ll enjoy!
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