Unghosting the Writer

Who is this ghost talking about creativity? In this post, I want you to get a look behind the curtain, give you a back-stage pass with insights into some events of my past, that helped me become who I am today. For you, I want to unveil the blurry ghost that hides behind a foggy wall of distortion. Hopefully, you will have a clearer view on why I do what I do after reading this late evening’s entry. Join me on a journey back to my childhood and visiting the events that probably are responsible me being an author today…

For you, I want to unveil the blurry ghost that hides behind a foggy wall of distortion.

I’ve always loved stories. Since I can remember, there have been stories around me. Before I could even speak properly, my mom read “The trip to Panama” and “The Lion’s King” so many times, that I knew these books by heart without even knowing any letter of the alphabet. But, unlike most parents, mine did not read many bedtime stories to me. Instead, my father let me choose three totally random words  (actually they had to make sense and I was not allowed to name any Pokémon or Digimon). Then, he made up a story with them. Thinking back to that time right now, there was quite an overdose of StarTrek elements in those stories, but nonetheless did the memories of these totally made up stories always stick to my mind.

Some years later, my grandmother bought a book for me, called Eragon. I was just 12 years of age, but yet I loved to discover the world that Christopher Paolini had created. When he published Eragon for the first time, he was just 16 years old. Can you imagine that? A boy, almost a child, publishing a fantasy novel with more than 600 pages? I admired him for that. And I wanted to be like him, having published my own 800-page-long novel while turning 16. I thought that within these four years until my 16th birthday, I could do at least the same as he did. Actually I did not, but  I started writing my first book before reaching my self-set deadline. I finished the book, handed it over to friends to get some feedback. Finally, the finished book landed in a desk drawer and was forgotten for several years.

It was literature class, when I received a broader response to one of my texts for the first time. I had created a story of an arms dealer in Libya during the Arabic Spring, and read it out loudly inside of a church. When I presented my story, supported by emotional sound of the organ, I knew that I had touched the audience and therefore reached my goal.

So combine these three pillars: A father that invented totally random stories, a famous fantasy-teenage-author and a peak experience within a church while reading my own creation, and you have laid the foundation of why I decided to turn an occasional activity into a hobby that fills myself with joy. It is now that every time I finish a chapter of a book, publish a blog entry or just find an alternative or more pictorial expression for a fact, I feel completely happy and relieved. Because I told another story that I considered worth telling.

To round this up, let me share a last story: During my semester abroad in Singapore, I gave a presentation about stories. I talked about where my family came from, about ancestries and some dark medieval chapters of European history. Finally, I ended my presentation with a gentle encouragement, inviting each member of the audience to join me in telling stories. Back then I said, that before I can expect listening to somebody else’s story, I have to make the first move. I have to tell a story about myself first, so that others see that they do not need to be afraid of sharing stories of their own. Today, I want to repeat this encouragement in a similar way: Share what you want to share, because what you want to share is surely worth sharing!