by Dina Sleiman
Of course, this forces Miller to wonder if he shouldn’t be living a better story on his own. Using the techniques of narrative structure, Miller takes a hard look at his life, past, present, and future, and decides it is time to begin living a story that will matter and make a difference. Through the pages of the book, he contacts his father for the first time, he looses weight and gets in shape to bike across country, he starts a nonprofit organization, and he finally goes after the girl.
In chapters such as “The Elements of a Meaningful Life,” “Imperfect is Perfect,” “A Character Is What He Does,” and “An Inciting Incident” Miller allows us to join in his quest towards creating a better existence. His experiences challenge the reader to not only face, but to invite obstacles and struggles into their lives as a source of transformation. He encourages them to take the time to create memorable scenes and to see the beauty in tragedy. The parallels in this book hit home and encourage the reader to want to live a better story as well, while keeping in mind that in real life, our stories don’t resolve here on earth.
This week at the Inkwell we've been talking about heroes, and I think Miller certainly fits the bill as he courageously reconstructs his life. Miller also went on to become a member of The Presidential Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families. So Miller is now making a difference in the lives of countless others as well as in his own.
As a writer, I especially enjoyed this book. It provided a unique experience to learn more about narrative structure in a fun context. Somehow, seeing the elements of storytelling illustrated in Miller's life helped me to gain a better understanding for them.
As usual, this book of Miller’s draws from his actual experiences and reflections, tying them together with truths that are both spiritual and yet incredibly practical. His style is engaging and personal. He provides many poetic moments along with plenty of humor. I highly recommend this book.
What could you change in your life in order to live a better story?