“Is my story changing – or – am I changing?”
What! You can't change that!
This is what I find myself thinking about this 2:00am; a ridiculously early hour of the morning. My husband had declared upon coming to bed last evening that, “Precious Little One (a song he wrote) is changing.” My initial reaction was “What, you can’t change that song!” I found I did not want it to change. I was use to it being the way it was. As this startling piece of news settled into my being my thoughts moved on to writers who have worked on a story for years! Example; J. R. Tolkien, worked on Lord of The Rings for years; changing it, tweaking it and letting it evolve even as he gained knowledge of its world and characters. It changed as he change…or is it…he changed because it changed? Now that is the question.
This was the thought that started my early morning rant; is it really the story that is evolving or is it the writer who is evolving? A natural maturing process of the writer.
I was thinking about a fellow hubber who had shared about a young, very young author, 14 years old. This hubber was surprised at this author’s age, having read their work, and made this remark,
“for someone so young you have a very mature voice.”
I found this absolutely fascinating; that a person’s “voice” – their writing voice – has age and maturity to it. Not surprising but fascinating. I had just never sat down and seriously thought about this.
So…with that in mind I come back to the question; when is a piece of writing – be it story or song – ever finished? Is it, or can it, be forever evolving –maturing – growing up? Does the author just need to “close the book” on that particular story or song one day and say the end?
Now, I understand the evolution of a story, for as the author’s psyche changes, their heart changes, their soul … it is quite logical that the story would change. It is also quite possibly that the “character” of the story may not change as 8 years old is after all 8 years old – but the way, the style the author presents the 8-year-old may or even should change.
An 8 year old will look at another 8 year old through different lenses than a 13, 20, or a person 80 years old. Hence, authors will present the 8 year old, generally, through their own individual perspective and experience.
Commonly, an accomplished and gifted 80 year old author will have more awareness of which perspective they are presenting, than an immature, untried author only 8 years old. The younger author has not learned to see through another’s eyes. Any 8 year old, would have a difficult time writing from the perspective of a 50 year old as they have not experienced life or possibly even known people through that age.
It is simpler for a 30 year old to write about life through the eyes of a 50 year old or 80 year old even though they themselves have not been there. They have had a chance to in life to experience people of this age group; therefore can purposefully set themselves to understanding life through the particular lens of that age group.
That is part of maturity – being able to put our own perspective on hold, so as to be able to see, hear, and experience life through another person’s perspective. This takes -- active listening, conscious absorbing.
Now, this does not mean that a person has to agree with the perspective they are writing from. However, they do need to seek to understand it – see it – hear it – seriously consider it. This takes seeing and hearing the other person for exactly who they are, not who you wish them to be. (Yes, I have discovered, even in writing!) Hence, even if there is not agreement with their stance or perspective – you, the listener and/or author,having gone through the process of understanding, will have gained a richer, more mature, depth of perspective. Even if you, the author, still sees things differently, they will have rounder, fuller understanding of why they, themselves see differently.
Oh but I love this kind of thinking, musing, meditating. Just following my thoughts through – it is good to think about; view what it is that you actually think about; know what occupies your thoughts. Most people (as I was and still am too often) live life completely unaware and unconcerned about what they occupy their thoughts with, what their perspective in life is. How you see things and why you think the way you do.
I can hear someone saying well – Why? Why is it important?
I think it is important to know how I think – so I can better appreciate how you think.
It is then that I am open to understanding your perspective. This is a maturing process of the soul. I can see it evident in my own life! In my own thought process – in my own view of things. Even within my own perspective, my own view – there is a maturing process happening, a continual changing, deepening, tweaking process.
We, not one of us, have a once and for all, end of story, perspective.
Have you ever re-read a story or article again which you read five years ago? To one degree or another, (depends on our growth of understanding) it changes. My understanding of that article has changed. It has to! Nothing is stagnant! It only depends on my openness to it, or my willingness to understand as to what degree my perspective will have deepened and grown.
Perspective is not the same as belief. If we have a belief in the Truth; it does not nor should it change. Truth is truth; it does not change. However, my understanding of that same truth; my perspective of that truth may/does change; if I let it. If I am willing perspective will deepen, grow richer, and mature. That is why; the Bible is a book that can be read repeatedly and over again. The Bible, which again is Truth, does not change – my perspective does; my understanding of it does. The words and truth of the Bible are an eternal truth.
It changes Not.
However, I do and that is why our stories change. Thanks Lord.