By: Stella Orange
I’ve always told myself that my writing is a magic carpet ride.
I originally got my start writing and producing a full season of theater with a writing partner (my next door neighbor Sarah) in the basement of our houses in the Midwestern U.S.
When I was thirteen and my family moved to Europe, our home grown stage play writing sessions became a trans-Atlantic correspondence.
This turned into college papers and keeping a journal.
On the cusp of turning thirty, I sat myself down for a frank talk.
What did I really care about?
How could I give that to myself as a birthday gift?
I ended up choosing to write a short play and submit it to the local theater for inclusion in their annual festival.
That became my directorial debut and a prize for People’s Choice.
Which became acting in a full-length play, a season as a puppeteer, and performing as part of an improv troupe.
Which became studying playwriting in New York City one summer.
And then? The magic carpet took me somewhere else.
A shore, let it be said, that at first glimpse looked so strange, so different from anything I was interested in or cared about, that it appeared to me, back then, as a Foreign Land, hazy and blue out there in the distance.
In 2009, I started a writing business.
But here we are, in 2023, and all these years later, I’m still on the same damn rug.
Which is fine by me.
And, I note, that what seemed so improbable to me back in 2009 – that I could work for myself using the gift that has always belonged to me – is just how it is.
It’s normal to me now.
Along the way, my magic carpet ride has picked up a corollary:
Doing your work in the world is an adventure.
If these two phrases were roads, then at their intersection you would find, well, me.
Which is a long way of saying what I originally sat down at my desk to tell you.
I have a post-it note behind my computer that says:
The way has to be new.
Which is what I keep hearing in many of the conversations we’re having with those we’re in cahoots with these days.
We can’t keep doing it the same old ways we have been.
We’ve got to make up something fresh.
But maybe, just maybe, when we look down, we may notice that we’re on the same dang rug that’s always carried us where we are called to be.
We’re just being called towards new horizons.
Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.
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