Do it for the plot.
The worse something is in your life, the better the story gets for everyone else.
When things are going great in your life, that’s…great. Keep it going.
Most people are uninterested in an everything-is-going-great-and-according-to-plan story.
People want the drama.
For a Very long time, I would have unavoidable stressful conversations. Afterward, I would be emotionally drained.
A lightbulb went off.
His “fictitious characters” were not simply having “fictitious” conversations. Thoughts come from somewhere. The dialogue looked EXACTLY like unpleasant conversations in my life.
It took me 28-33 years to realize bad things are not bad things. They are content!
When they were my stressful conversations, I was miserable.
When they were someone else’s stressful conversations, they became hilarious.
Most people in the midst of a bad situation, would naturally prefer to be in a good situation.
While that seems like the biggest no-brainer in history while it is happening, Franzen would have been unable to write the books without those experiences.
I can effectively guarantee you that if he could, he would not go back in time and change those bad moments to good moments because if he did, he would be a less interesting person, let alone a best-selling author.
This happens to successful comedians. They live in the real world, they have real world experiences, and their audience relates to it.
Then, they get rich and money reduces stress. Without the stressful experiences, they of course become less funny.
This lead me to a significant reframing. I went from dreading these conversations to welcoming them.
Write it down.
I started writing the conversations down. If I shared them with close friends, we would belly laugh.
Now, many of you may say, “What if I don’t want to be a writer?”
Two reasons that go hand-in-hand.
- Storytelling. Your stories will become more interesting and you will become more interesting. People will connect with you and like you more.
- Writing things down is powerful. Generally, when you take something emotionally-charged and put it on paper, it loses its energy. It also clarifies.
You are not having a bad day. You are building a content library.
And that is the trick.