Recently, as I was sitting at church working on homework ( I go to second service with my family most weeks, so I do homework during the first service), a lady from choir sat down next to me and began to talk. “What’s your major?” “What do you want to do with your life?” “What’s your hook? You know… for your blog?”
The moment she asked that, I felt sheer panic set in… I don’t have a hook — or so I thought. But let’s be honest here. Sure, I write whatever I feel like writing. Sure, there isn’t a real aim or goal to this blog. Sure, it can be a bit haphazard and all over the place… but isn’t that what blogging is all about? (…perhaps that’s not how it ought to be, but for me, it is!)
All of this leads to my “hook” (that’s right, the one I don’t have).
Kenneth Burke said, “Stories are equipment for living,” while Joan Didion stated, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Eric Hoffer wrote that, “Man is eminently a storyteller. His search for a purpose, a cause, an ideal, a mission and the like is largely a search for a plot and a pattern in the development of his life story — a story that is basically without meaning or pattern.” Muriel Rukeyser stated that, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms,” and Patrick Rothfuss once said, “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
Then you have my personal favorite… “But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grown pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you,” a quote taken from Diane Setterfield’s character Vida Winter in one of my most beloved books, The Thirteenth Tale.
All of these quotes lead towards one key concept — the importance of stories to our individual lives. These people realize the necessity of storytelling: the way it shapes us, changes us, gives us reason to live and move and breathe… for storytelling truly is essential to living.
I’ve always had a passion for writing. I clearly remember telling myself as a young girl that when I grew up, I would be a famous author… and though that dream has been gone for many a year, there is still a part of me that wants nothing more than to write for the rest of my life.
Which brings up the next thought. I’ve always spoken to the power of words. It is my belief that they have far more power than we admit to — for words can be potent. It takes but a single word to bring someone to tears, to laughter, to pain, to joy… they can be a weapon of mass destruction, or they can be the tool with which to build up some of the most glorious things — it all just depends on how you choose to use them.
There you have them: stories. Stories are pieces of art, magnificently sculpted from the unique force that is a word. Stories are the way in which we, as human beings, work through and process things. They are pieces of the puzzle of life… one that is being formed as it is being told. They are the magic we need to survive.
And I… I am a storyteller. Life is my canvas, and words are my medium. As I sat reflecting on my “lack of a hook,” I realized that the stories I tell are my hook. Each post thus far has been a story of some sort and the lesson learned through it… and that, my friends, is just what I needed.
I won’t say that I’ll ever stop secretly dreaming of being the next Carrie Bradshaw… but let’s just face it, my lifestyle is just too different from hers. And yet, here I am, a college coed working at a candle store, building up a photography business on the side and blogging in her spare time. This is the life!
So you ask: Megan, what exactly is your hook? And I say the only thing I can say… “Stories.”