Here is the full transcript of author Jessica Lourey’s TEDx Talk: Use Fiction to Rewrite Your Life at TEDxRapidCity conference. This event took place on June 22, 2016 at Rapid City, South Dakota.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Use fiction to rewrite your life by Jessica Lourey at TEDxRapidCity
Thank you. I am a Midwesterner of German descent. My people do not air their dirty laundry in public. I see some heads nodding. There’s some of my people here, maybe. That’s why it’s really uncomfortable for me to stand in front of you today and share an incredibly personal story. I think the story can help some people, though, and so I don’t get to not share it because I’m uncomfortable. So, let’s do this, you guys.
A little bit of background on me. I wrote my first poem when I was six years old: Grandpas are full of love; Grandpas are full of tickles; But grandpas are especially full of pickles. Right? Nailed it, right? That’s what my aunts and uncles thought, too. I got a lot of hugs.
I was asked to recite it at Thanksgiving, again at Christmas. You can see why I’d want to quickly capitalize on this amazing success and write my first novel — subsequently titled “A Very Short Book.” I got a really good response for this as well. So, I kept up with the writing.
By high school, I was up to four or five hundred words a week — mostly short stories featuring small town cast that I found myself surrounded by: farm kids, misfits, jocks, beauty queens. Without intending to, I was using fiction to make sense of my life.