THE AUTHOR, EDITOR, AND PUBLISHER
“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen… Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.”
~Donald Miller, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
The guy in the Volvo was in a story that no one cares to watch or read. Boring, anti-climatic & irrelevant. He does not change the world. He does not fight the bad guy. He does not win and become the hero. As Donald Miller stated, no one cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. The worst part? I’ve been writing this story in my own life for years, and I’m the Author, Editor & Publisher.
Granted, I’ve never actually cared to own a Volvo. But you could insert any number of other cars (or shiny objects, or houses, or wealth) and I’m not any different from the guy in the Volvo. I’ve been writing a story that is not worth reading, creating plots that build no tension or excitement, and inventing a main character that is far from the hero. But I’m still the Author, Editor & Publisher. And I can still change the story.
AUTHOR As the Author of our own stories we are typing on a typewriter that does not have a backspace button. We cannot erase or change what we’ve already written, but we do have miles of empty paper in front of us. We are free to write the most beautiful story ever told with ourselves as the main character. We get to choose the setting. We get to pick the cast of characters. And we get to decide what the good fight is. But it starts with accepting there is no backspace, and embracing the miles of empty paper in front of us.
EDITOR As the Editor of our own stories we get to adjust the plot line and story before it goes to the printing press. Main character veering toward the Volvo again? No problem. Edit and get back on track. Does the setting or supporting cast not line up with the climax of the hero? That is adjustable too. When we view our lives through the lens of story, we have the ability to edit the story itself. No one will do this for us, for it is not their story to edit.
PUBLISHER As the Publisher of our own stories we have arguably the tallest task of all. We have to make sure the story actually gets printed. If an Author writes an amazing & captivating story, but never gets it out of her head and published, her story is simply fable. And it’s a fable with an audience of 1. We print our story one page & day at a time. Every morning we have the choice to hit print or keep the story in our heads. Just hit print.
There is an audience watching our movie & reading our story every single day. It is our coworkers. It is our family. It is our friends. It is our community. We have a chance to rewrite this story every single day. We might as well make sure it’s one worth reading. After all, we are the Author, Editor & Publisher.