Friday, April 09, 2010

Storytime! (Alternate Title: Bizarre Musings on a Friday Afternoon)

There once was a pickle named Bob...

That's how I like to start stories. Well, not really, but have you ever played that game where you make up a story and everyone contributes a line? I used to crack myself up everytime I got the chance to anthropomorphize an inanimate object, especially a vegetable.

Speaking of stories, I'm reminded of the second grade, when I wrote a story about a squirrel named Corny. Apparently it was a hit because in no time I was sitting at the top of the Corny Empire, delegating out various books to classmates to write (to this day, one of my best friends still gives me grief for not letting her write "Corny's Christmas"). Sometimes I wonder if I peaked then - I mean, there I was running a literary empire at age 8. Regardless, the story about my Corny franchise resurfaced a few years ago when I was looking for summer internships. Yep, I put that in my cover letter, in an attempt to display "creativity" and my early development of an "entrepreneurial spirit" (or so my dad tells me).

My dad is one of my favorite storytellers, mostly because he's got some insane tales of traveling through Europe in the 70s and buying a 1000 shirts in Morocco or something. My mom was also a great storytelller - when my brother and I were little we heard endless stories about a character known as Kitty Bow Wow. She flooded our imaginations with fun stories.

When I was little, I never thought I'd end up working in Hollywood - in TV no less. That was just such a far off concept to me. I don't think I was really even aware of the industry beyond acting (and trust me, I was quite the performer when I was little so that was something I was into) but I never really thought I would want to be a writer, in any capacity. When I was little I wanted to be an artist, then an astronomer or a marine biologist. I was never that great at science... I don't necessarily think I am great at storytelling, but it's amazing that the more stories we tell, the better we get at the telling.

I was mentioning to a friend last week that I don't feel comfortable calling myself a writer. I don't think being a blogger qualifies me for that title - not even if I get paid to do it, not for this blog or at the Huffington Post, not even with my bi-weekly column over at Digiday. I think I will call myself a writer the day I publish something I can hold in my hands, or the day I sell a screenplay. Until then, I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller - not necessarily a particularly good one, but maybe a work in progess.

The best thing is that my day job is also about storytelling - because that's what TV is. I'm fortunate enough to be in a place where my job and my hobby are two different sides of the same coin.

Sometimes I think maybe I'll return to the Corny stories... or I suppose I could always write about a pickle named Bob...

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