How do you set boundaries around what is your story or not your story to tell? #BlogHerWritingLab

#BlogHerWritingLab ~ Friday, April 8, 2016
How do you set boundaries around what is your story or not your story to tell?


According to Miriam-Webster, the “Simple Definition” of boundary is:

  • : something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins

  • : a point or limit that indicates where two things become different

  • boundaries : unofficial rules about what should not be done : limits that define acceptable behavior

My Story is surrounded with a river, I think. A living boundary. This river is wide and deep. It ebbs and flows. It changes course. With its great power, it creates tributaries and channels and tiny brooks and steams. It rages, then calms. It protects and sometimes cascades with rushing water to overflow.

I am cognizant of this boundary of My Story. It’s a natural force indicating where two things become different.

The greatest and most Blessed part of My Story at this very moment is my gaggle of 11, soon-to-be 12, grandkids. These children (ages 2 – 15) are my rills and runnels. They are My Story becoming 12 more Stories!

It’s these rills and runnels of new Stories that are surrounded with boundary rivers of their own. These precious, natural boundaries of their STORIES are ones that I approach with the greatest respect.

Of course, My Story is forever merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily gently flowing down the stream with Their Stories, but there is always a point, a moment, a levee that I will not cross in my writing — personal experiences of teenagehood or approaching teenagehood or confidences shared or moments/photographs in time that belong to them within their Stories, not mine.

Then there are moments with my grandkids that I will overflow to the world. Moments of greatest Joy in My Story. Moments captured that define a child or children in one glorious moment:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 5.54.17 PM

This is My Story. This moment is Their Stories, too, emerging, combining rivers in space and time!

This moment happened yesterday while I was babysitting for these two cousins, Victoria (almost 3) and Brian (2), separated in time by 7 months. Victoria is the youngest of 5 with 4 older brothers. Brian is a first-born, expecting a baby sister in May. These two cousins have an extraordinary bond, like 2 little rivers flowing in the same playful, sunny-day direction. They each had a bottle of milk, Victoria’s pink, tucked under her arm. They were sitting together after a morning of play, raucous play, in silence. I came into the room to check on this silence. I said, “I love you two SO SO much!” That’s when Victoria turned to Brian and placed a kiss on his cheek. Brian’s expression is priceless. The moment Norman Rockwell-ish in its timelessness.

This Story of Their Stories is part of My Story.

No boundaries crossed.


BlogHer Writing Lab April 2016 Prompts! Why not join in and tell your story. 

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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