I’ve been reading The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, the case notes of the recently departed neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks. It’s a fascinating book and deeply humane, dealing with the amazing curve balls our complex brains can throw at us when they go wrong.
It’s also very well written by someone who was clearly a great story-teller as well as a great scientist.
By chance I happened to catch an old TV interview with Oliver Sacks while I was reading his book and during it he talked about his propensity for story telling. He got it from his mother he said. She was such a natural spinner of yarns that she would keep the postman or milkman spellbound at the door as she told them fascinating and amusing tales – they poured out of her.
It made me wonder if being a story-teller is something people have as a natural gift or even inherit from their parents – in the same way that others are naturally musical or have a talent for mathematics.
Now, I’m a big believer in practice, and I know I have improved as a writer over the years because I’ve worked at it. But there is no doubt that I loved telling stories even as a child. Where other kids would tell jokes I would love to tell stories. I’ve never really stopped, though the stories are on paper now.
I’m not sure what drew me to story telling, what still draws me. Maybe it was my way of making sense of the world. But I do believe I had a natural flair for it, though I’m not sure where that would have come from.
Do you believe story tellers are born rather than made? What are your natural talents?
If you want to read my latest story – my latest book The Pick-Up Artist is out on Kindle and paperback. If you have enjoyed this post please take a look, try a free sample, and see what you think! To take a look click here
‘Loved this book, a bloke’s view of the dating game, made me laugh out loud.’