Welcome! There are more than 900 Inspirational Quotes For Writers, Artists and Other Creative Leaders on this site.
Spend a few minutes exploring. And come back again and again for other inspirational quotes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mitch Albom

“. . . there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.” 

― Mitch Albom
American Author / Radio & TV Broadcaster / Songwriter
1958 -

A few years ago, I wrote the story of my mother's life.  I told her story as I knew it from her point of view.  I imagined what her thoughts were and how she would respond to the events that happened in her life.  It was a fascinating experience and gave me insight and understanding of my mother.

We all have stories to tell — some easy and some difficult — and we need to be telling these stories.  As Albom says, there is a story behind everything whether you are talking about the painting on the wall or the scar on my hand.  I have a scar on my hand which resulted from being silly.  When I was in my early thirties, a friend and I were chasing each other around the apartment acting silly.  I was carrying a glass of beer in my hand.  He slammed the door on me and the glass broke in my hand.  I had to go to the hospital for stitches.  Often it is the small things that happen in our lives that blossom into larger stories.

What stories are you not telling that you need to tell?  We need to listen to our own stories because in the listening we gain understanding and wisdom.  On my wall in my office hangs a drawing I made with colored pencils in 2006 in the midst of a personal health crisis.  I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery.  The drawing is entitled, All Eyes on Jesus.  The title for the drawing came to me before I ever put pencil to paper.  The drawing is of a cross surrounded by masks.  The hand of God is reaching for the cross and the fires of hell are burning up the masks.  For me, the drawing captures my struggle with religion.  The drawing  tells a story.

Creative Practice
This week write a story or a poem about your mother in her voice.  Tell the story in the first person about a particular incident or event in her life.  Maybe you could tell the story of your birth from her perspective.  Or tell the story of her father's death through her eyes. Choose a particular event and tell the story.

Mitch Albom grew up in New Jersey in a middle class family.  His parents encouraged his siblings and him to see the world which he has done.  While working in New York, Albom developed an interest in journalism and became a sports writer.  He was a full-time feature writer for the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel.  He then moved to Detroit and became the lead sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press where he still writes 2 columns.  He has won more than 200 journalism awards.  He has written two sports books — one with Bo Schembechler, U of Michigan football coach and the other about the Fab Five U of M basketball team.

His breakthrough book was Tuesdays With Morrie about his conversations with a former college professor who was dying.  He wrote the book to help pay for the professor's medical bills. Rejected by several publishers, it was eventually published by Doubleday in 1997.  The initial printing was 20,000 copies.  The memoir has sold over 14 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages.

Albom followed up six years later with a novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which was published in 2003.  The novel has sold more than 10 million copies.  His next novel, For One More Day, was published in 2006 and spent 9 months on the New York Times Bestseller list.

As if writing is not enough for Albom, he also hosts a general radio talk show on WJR in Detroit 5 days a week.  The show is also televised and simulcast by MSNBC.  He has appeared on numerous TV shows.  He is also a playwright and songwriter.  He has also founded 7 charities.

Here is Mitch Albom discussing why he thinks his books have been so successful.