You are the Narrator of Your Own Life

What is a narrator? A narrator is someone who tells a story.

In literary terms, a narrator can be “I” – called first person point of view. To borrow the first line from a classic Gothic romance novel, an example of first person narration would be “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.” (from Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier)

A third person point of view narrator is someone else telling the story. This is either a character written as he/she/they (not “I”), or an outside onlooker relating the tale (as when a story begins with something like “Listen, dear reader, and you shall hear a tale…”

While the word “narrator” may be a bookish term, I believe that it applies to far more than just written fiction. I would argue that most – if not all – art forms have a narrator. A lot of times, the narrator is the artist themselves. You as the artist are telling a story or part of a story through your photograph, your song, your painting, your dance.

Sometimes, there might be a different point of view, a different narrator. One of the great values of art in its many forms is its ability to let us see things through another’s eyes, to understand the world from a different viewpoint. This is, essentially, telling a story with a different narrator.

You as the artist – the writer, the photographer, the song writer, the choreographer – you get to control the story that is told. Whether you’re telling a personal story or telling it through another’s eyes (first person versus third person point of view), you get to control the narrator. You get to decide how the story is told, what the audience get to see and hear, what they don’t see or hear.

Now think about your life. Your life in general, but especially your life as a writer or creative artist. Who controls what you see and hear? Who controls what you get to learn, where you go, who you meet, how you express yourself? Who controls your art?

You do.

You are the writer and the narrator of your own life. You get to tell your own story.


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