Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Worth of Stories

            I am always so inspired by DavidFarland’s writing advice (Daily Kick in the Pants).  He not only spends time talking about the mechanics of writing but the emotional, business, and worth of writing.
I know I loved to write. I know that I would wilt away if it was taken away from me, but I’ve had a hard time justifying the time I spent on something that felt recreational. In the grand scheme of life is my writing going to do any good in the world? It is fictional and filled with mythical creatures and people that don’t even exist. Yet, it makes me happy, so I keep writing, but I want it to mean something.
I have been learning slowly that it is okay so spend time on writing. That, writing is not only healthy for me, but that I could entertain someone else with a ‘good’ story.  I put the “good” in quotations, because that word means so many different things to different people. For me it means that the content in my “good” story wouldn’t embarrass or shame me if my children, parents, or grandparents read it.
But the peace that I have been laboriously trying to come to terms with finally solidified when I read David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—What Stories Can Do.  In his clear and well written email post, he was able to help me understand the underlining worth of storytelling.
He talked of how humans need to talk and when we aren’t talking we are listening, but we need that interaction. We are social creatures. He also brought up that some people might argue that writing a story for entertainment only is a waste of time, but he showed examples how people need to be simply entertained at times. There was a touching story of a man in so much pain from a medical condition that reading one of David’s books was the only thing that could take his mind off of the pain, because it transported him so fully into a different world.
For other’s the story speaks to them in a way that helps them deal with life, as if giving them strength or hope on an otherwise dismal day.
There are so many ways that storytellers can reach out to others. They can educate, entertain, or simply have a story that resonates with someone. For me, when I was a kid, I loved Blue Heron by Avi. It really spoke to me as a child. As an adult, I re-read it and didn’t find it as enjoyable as I did when I was young. I realized that when I was younger and my family was torn apart that I had something in common with the protagonist that made the story my life-line at that point in time.
Sorry, didn’t mean to get so personal, but I had to thank David Farland for this Daily Kick. I love to tell stories, and I hope that others will get something out of them or just simply let me transport them into a different world for a while. Writing stories add meaning to my life, and thanks to people like David, I now feel it in my heart that my efforts aren’t a waste of time.  

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