The art of creativity fascinates me.
Particularly when it comes to producing something, like authoring a story.
You get to decide who is in it, what’s going to happen and how it’ll all turn out.
I think that’s why writing was one of my favorite activities at school – until the end of primary school anyway.
I remember the last story I wrote in primary school. Maybe not for reasons I’m proud of though.
Back in those days, you got to hand a draft of what you’d written into the teacher for feedback. Just to make sure it was readable.
So I did.
And the teacher provided it back to me with some thoughts.
“Change the ending,” they said.
The teacher didn’t like it.
Apparently it’s not what they would have written.
I felt there had been some sort of misunderstanding here.
So after reading the feedback I walked over to their desk and tried to explain how that ending suited what I’d written, perfectly in my opinion.
After a little back and forth, I remember stubbornly saying something along of the lines of, “That’s how it ends, I’m not changing it”.
“It’s not what I would write,” they quipped again.
I was aware. That’s why their name wasn’t at the top of the page.
They then went on to remind me about how I’m forgetting they’re the one marking it.
So I slunk back to my desk, and I changed it.
I changed my ending. And that, was then how I let it end.
I’m an adult now, well and truly. But I still remember this vividly.
Sure – I learnt a lot from this teacher. But I wasn’t impressed about this one encounter.
Sometimes I wonder what affect it had on me – how did experiencing having someone else coerce me into accepting a different ending curb how creatively I look at things?
Or was it more preparing me for what life is like.
In primary school, my fictional story had two authors – myself and my teacher.
In life, my non-fictional story also has two authors – myself and chance.
I start a sentence, and chance finishes it. I write a page, and chance writes the next one.
It’s a love/hate relationship we share. Not everything chance writes fits perfectly with what I’ve written.
I could be wrong – I could easily be wrong – but it seems that there are no rules (when it comes to authoring a story) that suggests I couldn’t have accepted my primary school teacher’s edits, and rather let them be the end, have then written more afterwards and still tried to successfully end the story my way.
It could have ended up a literary disaster. But it would have ended my way.
And I guess that lack of authoring rules for storytelling could translate to life, too.
Maybe that page chance has inserted, that doesn’t fit with what’s been written to date, doesn’t have to be the ending.
All I have to do is start writing another sentence.