#47 The Agony of the Untold Story

And what to do about it

The untold story is a tragedy. The thought of it is what drives me in many ways. To write this newsletter; to pitch stories to editors; to talk to strangers on the streetcar (in a pre-pandemic world); to continue to send my manuscript out to agents in hopes that one will see what I see in my main characters and take on representing it (you’ll be the first after my fam and friends to know when that happens).

The thing is, I think we all have stories in us and so many of them go untold. We live extraordinary lives in their simplicity, but fail to see the beauty and the story they tell. Even in our daily routines and habits, there are stories weaving together into the epic that is our existence. It’s magical and miraculous. While some of us take on the mantle of meaning maker and storyteller, I share my knowledge with you, lovely reader, because I think it’s something we can all take up in whatever way and whatever medium makes sense to us.

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I couldn’t agree more. For me it’s painful to hold a story in and also painful to see someone else do it. Because often that holding in is some sort of repression, which is never comfortable. Or it’s an inability to see the stories all around and within us. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m developing a storytelling workshop and this is one of the ideas that’s driving me. I want to help equip as many folks as possible to tell their own stories when they’re ready—no pressure.

I guess what I’m saying (in a record-breakingly short note to you) is: pay attention to your story and the stories around you. And, if you get the chance, share them. They’re magical in their ability to connect us and create a sense of community. Who doesn’t want that?

A Story Well Told

I have encountered so many great stories over the past week (what a gift), it was honestly a struggle to choose one. Which is why I’m going to share three. Mare of Easttown. I feel like that’s all I need to say on that one; the internet is abuzz for good reason about it.

I don’t think I’ve shared the Brown Ambition podcast with you—it’s a personal finance show aimed at Black women so probably not—but in this episode they shared a perspective on running a successful business using a model that challenges the hustle-hard culture we all know so well. Something to think about as you entrepreneurs out there grow your businesses. Can you imagine a world where more companies begin thinking beyond yoy growth and tap into something different to measure success? Interesting. Tiffany Aliche is also a business inspiration for me.

Finally, I just finished R. Eric Thomas’ book Here for It and had to share. It is perfectly imperfect and made me laugh out LOUD several times. It provides a lens on growing up gay, figuring out who you are as a person and what matters to you. Also, hilarious. Let me know if you check any of these out and what you think (feel free to send me your murderer guesses on Mare).

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Thanks for reading and I’ll “see” you next week. Whatever the world may bring, there will always be important stories that need you to tell them. I’ll be here to help.
If you know someone who has a story to tell and may need some help crafting it, please share this newsletter with them and encourage them to subscribe. Subscribing and sharing are the two best ways to help me continue to share my own adventure in storytelling.
Also, if you’re enjoying this or if there’s something you’d like me to cover in a future letter—an element of your storytelling you may be struggling with, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’m here to help.
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