Hey Girl, Who Are You Today?

I'm so honoured to share this post with you Strong Women today.  It's by A. L. Michael, who is an author and a trained Therapeutic Writing Facilitator, and she's here to give us all a big reminder on writing our own narratives.

Over to you, A...

Hey Girl, Who Are You Today?

by SWS guest writer, A. L. Michael

It’s almost overwhelming, how much we can change who we are. We’re born, and we’re kids, and we grow and we’re different. It seems that simple.

And yet sometimes, you’re not the same person you were last week. It’s not always big, huge things that change who you are. It’s not that one week you’re a daredevil, then you’re hit by a car, and you become wary. It could be that one day you wake up and you don’t like tuna anymore. It could be that this little niggling thought has been worming away in your brain for months before you say it out loud and realise it’s true.

We are growing and changing all the time.

How you tell your story, the order you tell it in, what you include, what you leave out, it tells you who you think you are.

I’ve been studying narrative therapy, and how it can be used with writing. The simple definition of narrative therapy is that it’s about story, your story. How you tell your story, the order you tell it in, what you include, what you leave out, it tells you who you think you are. What I love about narrative therapy is that we create ourselves every time we open our mouths. The way we create characters is the way we form ourselves.

Sometimes, it can be hard to be honest about our narratives, sometimes we’re ashamed of our stories, or we think there’s nothing interesting about us. But it’s easy to find those moments. A time you were intensely happy, a time by the seaside, the first time you were afraid. To me, those are the things that make you interesting, not your job or your bank balance or the funny story you save for dinner parties. I want to know why the smell of cherries makes you think of you grandmother, or where you used to hide your treasures as a child. To me, those are the things that make a person.

You know what the best thing about narrative is? It’s about perspective. You might tell me the story where you were bullied, and badly treated, and just followed by bad luck. You might tell me the narrative of a victim.

But you know how you could see it? As a narrative of resistance - of strength, and power and a refusal to be broken. A hero narrative. An origin story.

So girl, I’m here to tell you - not only are you interesting, unique and infinitely full of stories...you can tell those stories however you want. Be the heroine, be the victim, be the bad guy. Be the witch stirring the cauldron or the boat on the ocean, going with the waves. Because whoever you are today, you can always be someone else tomorrow.

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of nine novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, starts with Cocktails and Dreams. She likes to write about sassy females who follow their dreams, and don't take no for an answer. She is a creative therapeutic facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and believes in the power of writing to heal. Sometimes she sleeps.

Here you can buy A. L. Michael's latest book, Cocktails and Dreams

And here you can check out her website on almichael.com

She's also on Twitter - @ALMichael_