I’ve been politically vocal for a few years now. I wouldn’t say active or effective but I’ve certainly had things to say. My Twitter feed requires that I pay attention, I engage, I invest time and I chat with like minded people. I can’t do this like a pro and so my impact is low and my reach doesn’t go very far. But every once in a while I make a connection that links directly into my story. A random perchance kinda chat. Pure gold.
Like most people, I like the sound of my own words and the way I put them together. They’re smart and often cut to the chase. I don’t like bluff or bluster and when I write, I edit fiercely to cut the waffle. Sometimes, I can cut the soul right out of the piece and it can often appear lifeless or vague.
I was once told, “tell people what you’re about to tell them, tell them and then recap by telling them what you’ve just told them”. This is the format newsreaders use and so do many documentary writers. But storytellers need ingredients. We need to stimulate the readers’ imagination. We need to leave gaps and holes so the reader can fill them in, like a colouring book.
I look for or listen out for nuggets that link parts of my stories together. I look for small stories to play out within my main story. Not waffle or fillers, but things that create the palette for the reader to colour in the picture.
After a random few posts on Twitter, I was looked up online and contacted by the other person. She had been a lady high up in one of London’s big political centres and someone who knows what they are talking about. She had ‘dropped out’ and wished she’d done so years ago. She’s gone to live in a small coastal town and saw first hand how communities were working together. How people were supporting each other. How they had side-stepped the world of commerce and regulation to build better lives for each other.
And there it was…a building block which will be added centrally to my main theme. It brings heart and soul to my story. It allows for humanity where there seems to be little in a harsh, futuristic world. It will make people matter but remain almost invisible to the powers and forces that control us. Societies everywhere that have ‘dropped out’ and become self sufficient and free from the long grasp of greed.
Listening to hear is the gift that keeps on giving.