The writer’s point of view is part of what makes you unique. No one else sees, hears, or experiences things just exactly the way you do. Therefore, no one can write your story but you!
We might have the same facts before us. Maybe we’ve experienced something side-by-side. But the truth remains; we will each have a different perspective, a different story to tell. It’s our nature, and it’s why it is so important for you to write your story.
Everybody has a story. You have a story. Actually, you have many stories. They span the length of your life from beginning to end.
• Milestones of all kinds
• Close calls
• Natural disasters
The list is endless, and your journey through it is unique.
Demonstrating My Writer’s Point of View
This post is a little different than most I write, but I am demonstrating the power of a writer’s point of view. I want to help open your eyes a bit to the treasure that your own stories are. I want to encourage you to write your story, to share your story with others.
Even though there are thousands of other people who are experiencing the same rains and flooding that I am, I am writing this to reveal my personal and unique point of view as the event literally unfolds before me. This is a great exercise for you, too! I encourage you to pick a topic from your own recent experience and write about it from your unique vantage point.
Writer’s Point of View: Where I Live
Look at my About Jane page, and you learn that I live in the Branson area of southwest Missouri. The Ozarks region is my home and I enjoy it to the max. It is a land rich in history, heritage, folklore, and simple living.
Millions of people each year make their way to this area to vacation among the gently rolling mountains and the abundant lakes of the region. Branson shines as a star on the ridge top, offering family entertainment in the form of shows, museums, and a wide variety of interesting places to visit.
From zip-lining over the oldest mountains on the continent to riding the huge Ferris wheel that recently relocated to the Branson Strip from Chicago, there is something for everyone who is looking for a thrill! And you will find virtually everything in between as well.
Silver Dollar City is the region’s flagship amusement park. To visit there is to take a step back in time to the 1800s, to sample a way of life that was routine back in the day here in these Ozark Mountains. Family fun, lots of great rides, artisans of many kinds demonstrating their craft right before your eyes. You will walk up and down hills, eat great food and snacks, ride amazing rides, and sleep well that night once you get back to your room!
Writer’s Point of View: The Lay Of The Land
We also have the moniker of “tri-lakes area,” and that is an understatement. Beautiful bodies of water abound. Table Rock Lake resides just outside of Branson. Boasting a shoreline of 745 miles, it is a fishing and water sports Mecca to many.
In 1958, construction was completed on the Table Rock Dam. Its purpose is to help control the flooding issues that historically inundated the entire area prior to its completion. The state park attached to the dam is a gorgeous and wonderful place to visit. With a boat launch, camping, picnic areas, and marina, it is a water paradise. Visitors and locals alike share in this very special place.
Lake Taneycomo meanders from below the dam, passing basically between Branson on one shore and the quaint old town of Hollister on the other side. It continues to roll along into Bull Shoals Lake and beyond.
Writer’s Point of View: What I Experienced Recently
Over the last two weeks, as I write this, our area has experienced two flooding rain episodes. You have probably heard about it on the news. Videos and news pieces abound. Disasters make good news. There is a core curiosity within us to find out about things like that.
The first round of rain, depending on location, dropped roughly 5-6 inches of the wet stuff on a very wide area. The ground soaked up some of it, and the rest filled creeks, lakes, and rivers. Table Rock Lake and Beaver Lake above it in Arkansas took on more water. Plans and adjustments were implemented at each of the dams along the region’s waterways.
The sun came out and began to dry things up a bit. Happy ending to the story, right? Life goes on; no big deal. But, that is not what happened at all.
By mid-week last week the rains came again. But this time they were in earnest. Wrapped in strong, sometimes severe thunderstorms, accompanied by furious straight-line winds, the rain fell in epic proportions.
Not until Sunday morning was the torrential rain reduced to scattered sprinkles. The rains were over—for a few days—but the flooding had just begun.
Rain totals of 7-11 inches (more than the drenching rains of the week before) saturated the ground over a broad area of the Ozarks. The water had to go somewhere; it went everywhere it could.
Writer’s Point Of View: Shaped By My Past Experiences
I grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. As a child, I remember riding with my parents downtown to be as close to the waterfront as possible.
It was thrilling at that young age to see the vast overspread of the river’s muddy turbulent water churning down Main Street. I didn’t really get the magnitude of what the destructive waters were doing or how they were changing lives, some forever. I only saw the vastness and the oddity of it.
No, I am no stranger to flooding. I’ve stood at the back loading dock of what used to be the Sears catalog office in Hannibal on a Friday night. I’ve watched the swelling floodwaters swallow up sandbags as we threw them one by one off the edge of the dock into the water filling the alley below it. By morning, the store had five feet of water in it.
So, flooding is nothing new to me. Now, since moving back to Missouri a few years ago and settling into a life here in the Branson area, I have been reminded of the devastation that flood waters bring.
Writer’s Point of View: A Look Around Through My Eyes
My childlike point of view has been replaced with the eyes, ears, and heart of a seasoned adult. I took a drive Sunday, two days ago. I wasn’t going out gawking, looking to see what I could see. That had been my point of view way back when on the Mississippi.
So I drove first of all, to just experience sunshine and a peek of blue skies after so many days of dark gray and storms. And I drove to take in the devastation, the dismay of the landowners, the trauma of life interrupted. It is a great heartbreak when your life is changed radically by forces beyond your control. It is scary, it is disheartening, it is frustrating.
For many people, there is great loss. I saw it as I drove quietly through neighborhoods where homes stood in dark flood waters. There were lingering questions hanging over some areas as to what the owners will decide to do after this passes.
I have lived here long enough to know some of the people now, some of those directly impacted by this flood which is now being called historical. I know some of their stories. We are community. There is a binding together among those who experience disasters together. My heart is drawn to my community here.
Writer’s Point of View: A Different Disaster Up Close & Personal
There are some things that happen which are impossible to forget. One such event for me took place when I lived in Huntsville, Alabama. The date April 27, 2011, will forever strike a chord with me and with hundreds of thousands of other people as well.
That day approximately 235 tornadoes raced across north Alabama. At 6:30 that morning I ushered both of my cats into my walk-in closet and turned my TV up loud enough to hear the weather reports that broadcast nonstop all day. I ventured out of the closet during short lulls in the storms to gather important items I needed to have with me.
1. My computer, cell phone, and charger
2. Cat supplies including food, litter box, and treats
3. Water for all of us
4. My favorite Bible
5. A battery-operated radio
6. Stash of batteries
7. Weather radio
8. Protein bars and non-cook foods for myself
My kitties and I camped in that closet until 8:00 that same night. The tornados piled up over our area. The TV meteorologist said there were so many at once he couldn’t keep up with them. At one time I heard him tell his staff to head for their shelter as he remained to man the weather desk alone.
The power went out sometime around 5:30 that evening. From that point on I stayed connected with a close friend who continued to feed me weather information until the “all clear” was sounded a few hours later.
The aftermath of that tornado outburst was like nothing I had ever seen before. I felt so blessed to have had no damage at all to my house or property. I only suffered the inconvenience of no electricity for 9 days. Many around me were not so fortunate.
Writer’s Point Of View: This Present Danger
So, here in the Ozarks, I have watched the massive gates on Table Rock Dam open, allowing 28 million gallons of water per hour to spill into Taneycomo.
Widespread torrential rains, man-made adjustments to the lake levels at all the dams, and run-off from the saturation of the ground–it’s the mix for a flooding disaster. That is taking place as I write this.
My condo is close to Lake Taneycomo but thankfully elevated from the reach of flood waters. I look across the street to the lake. It is a torrent of water, swirling and sweeping its way downstream toward Branson and Hollister.
Yesterday a low-water crossing on my road was closed. A second crossing is being watched by authorities. If it is closed, I am stranded until the water recedes.
I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. I had to take a different route because of the flooding in various places, but I did make it to my appointment. When I told the receptionist that I was quite antsy to get back home before they closed the road and denied me access, I saw a most wonderful thing.
There was another couple in her office when I was there. They were fighting time trying to get back across a bridge that was about to be closed. The closure would send them nearly a hundred miles out of their way to get home. My doctor had us all processed and back out the door in record time.
Writer’s Point of View: It’s Personal
It is true that disasters, for the most part, bring out the best in people. You see some of the highlight stories on the news, a one- or two-minute piece about something people are doing together in an emergency situation. It is amazing.
But when you are in the situation yourself, it’s just deeper than that. It’s not just a bunch of strangers at random filling sandbags. It’s your friends and neighbors all working for the common cause of keeping your city functioning with electricity, with water treatment facilities. It is friends helping friends salvage their lives.
It hit me hard this time when they began to open shelters in the area for people who had to evacuate their homes. They invited anyone who needed a place to stay to come, even from the outlying areas.
That’s pretty normal. But what else is pretty normal is that they ended the invitation with no pets allowed. My heart is hurt whenever I hear that.
Many people simply will not leave their pets. Some figure out, as I would, some other option if the need would arise. But there are some pet owners who are so attached to their pets that they will not leave them, not even if staying puts them in harm’s way.
Deep sadness hit my heart. Yes, people are more valuable than pets. That is not the point. Isn’t there a way to offer shelter to those people who have animals, and do it in such a way that no one is in danger of getting hurt?
Writer’s Point Of View: More To Come
More rain is in the forecast starting late tonight, Tuesday, possibly continuing through sometime Thursday morning. The official expectation is for this new storm to add another 2-4 inches of rain. That much more rain only exacerbates the problem.
Will that much more rain be enough to force the closing of my road? Do I need to run to town for anything before the water potentially rises further? These thoughts and others like them run through my mind today.
There you have it. I sit by my window and wait for the weekend when the sun will come out, the temperatures will go back to normal spring range, and this soggy world I call home can start to dry out for real.
We will overcome this flood, too. Life will go on. We will learn lessons from it, adapt, and be more ready for the next time.
In the meantime, Branson, for the most part, is open for business and there is still a lot of fun to be had here in these Ozark Mountains. Soggy, for sure, but strong and resilient, just like the people who dwell among these lakes and hills.
There you have this writer’s point of view.
It is important for me to tell my story, just like it is important for you to tell your story. Share your stories with others. Take the time to sense and express what you are experiencing in everyday life as well as in those times that go beyond the norm.
Notice that this, my story, is not written in a highly edited fashion. It is more of a narrative, journal-type telling of what has been happening from my writer’s perspective. It could easily be transformed into something more or used as part of a bigger work.
The important thing is that I did write my story, just as you must write your story. And I shared it with you from my unique writer’s point of view.
If you’re serious about sharing your story or your message in the form of a book or a blog, please contact me. Now is the time to start. And remember, no one can tell your story but you!
For more news information about the local flooding in the Missouri Ozarks, check out KY3.com.
Thank you & God bless!