The Power of Story and why we need it now

I woke up this morning with the need to say something. Oh, it’s not a new “something”–a lot of people I admire and respect have said similar things. But I feel the need to add my voice, for what it’s worth, to the chorus.

I know I won’t say it as eloquently as Chuck Wendig does here or John Green does here or Scott A. Johnson does here.  I can’t be as succict or as powerful as Jane Yolen and Molly O’Neill and Andrew Karre have been on their Facebook pages.  But this is just little old me and here’s my nickel.

We need story.  Now maybe more than ever. Stories are powerful things.  There’s a reason little kids always say, “Tell me a story.”  Or why they need a bedtime story.  Stories can reassure, remind us of what matters.  Stories can help us see other points of view, experience things we might never get to otherwise. Stories are intrinsically human. We all tell stories, read stories, listen to stories. They connect us.  They allow disparate voices to be heard. They allow the story makers to convey their feelings and they allow the story listeners or readers to experience those feelings. That’s always a good thing.

Now, thousands of people (myself included) are in the midst of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where we subsist on caffeine and little sleep to get 50,000 words of story (or more) onto the page before November 30. Now is the perfect time to tell your story. If you’re writing a story, keep going. If you haven’t started but you think you might want to, go for it. There’s something cathartic about watching those words form on the screen as your hands move on the keyboard or across the page. If no one else ever reads it, your story still helps you. If others read it, who knows? You may actually change a few hearts. Also a good thing.

Okay, yes, I know all art is important. But I write stories, so that’s where my thoughts are today.  Artists and poets and musicians–go write your own blog posts. This is mine.

I’m not saying story is the cure-all to all of the world’s problems.  But try imagining a world without story. I don’t think I’d want to live there.

Excuse me, now– I have go add 2000 words to my story. Write on!