A couple of days ago I mentioned that I was reading ‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music’ by Dave Grohl, and I finished it last night. I recommended it and I recommend it even more now that I have read it all. If you’re interested in music then you will find it fascinating as it charts the rise of the Foo Fighters, and gives real insight to into the lives and times of people in bands, from the smallest local group to the most famous superstars. The struggles, the lucky breaks, the tragedies, the unexpected twists of fate, the friends, the famous, the sheer hard grind of being a musician whether playing in a local pub, club or bar, or rocking it on a massive stage on the other side of the world – Grohl paints a fascinating (and sometimes horrifying!) picture of his life and times.
I also mentioned that, having been trying for many years and with varying success and a lot of unsuccess, I saw from his way of telling his life story, how I might write about some of mine. I would be writing for myself, not necessarily to publish, as I hardly think my mundane and ordinary life would be particularly interesting to anyone who didn’t know me! So many people I talk to, not just other writers, but friends and even strangers who I exchange conversation with, mention that they would like to write their own life. I always blithely say, ‘well, just get writing!’ omitting to add that I’ve been trying to do that for a very long time!
What I have previously struggled find is a ‘voice’ – in my other writing the voice is that of the characters, whether in 1st person narrative or third (I only have tried the tricky second person narrator once when I was sixteen, maybe I should try again some time!) Having read ‘The Storyteller’, I’ve begun to see a way of being my own storyteller, a more modest and less celebrity-ridden story! In Grohl’s book there are plenty of omissions, because after all, he is telling a story, an aspect and part of his life. He jumps from time to time, starts with one tale and segues into a different story from a different time of his life. It’s never a muddle, never confusing because in a way it is quite simply written, although woven with wonderful details and descriptions, and a great deal of honesty.
I’ve written a page, thinking back to when I was small, triggered by a conversation I had with an almost-cousin. I must write more!