Why We Need More Stories

Sunday, December 06, 2015

If you are reading The Muffin, I assume you are a person who loves stories – to read and to write them. You read and write stories because you know no other way of being. You read and write because you have to.

But have you ever thought more deeply about why you need to consume and create stories? I have spent most of my life believing that reading and writing were frivolous leisure-time activities. But stories provide much more than simple enjoyment and entertainment.

Stories Are Powerful

Whether we’re creating fiction or nonfiction, we draw on aspects of our lives for content and the way we tell the story. We interpret our life experiences when we draw on them in storytelling. What we tell and how we tell it depends on how we interpret our experiences.

Likewise with reading stories, we draw on our life experiences to interpret them. That’s why several people reading the same story can understand it very differently.

Knowing we can use our interpretive powers on reading and writing stories can be empowering. We might not have much control over most of the events in our lives, but we do have some choice in how we interpret them. This opens up possibilities, helps us to see things differently, gain perspective, and learn about ourselves and others.

Why We Need More Stories

Keep writing stories, and keep reading them because when you do:

  • You learn.
  • You open your heart and mind.
  • You can change your perspective.
  • You make sense of your life and the world around you.
  • And you help others do all of the above, too. 

Happy writing!

Written by: Anne Greenawalt
Today’s post inspired by Narrative and the Practice of Adult Education.


Suzanne Lilly said...

Great post, Anne. I couldn't live without stories in my life...it's so much a part of my everyday. I just finished reading "Travel Writing" by Peter Ferry. It's a story narrated by an English teacher who makes up a tale just to show his students how powerful story can be, and how important it is to our lives. In the end, he leaves the reader wondering if the story was really true. It's fascinating, and powerful!

Margo Dill said...

I love this post too. Sometimes, when I think about a fiction book or TV show I really like I think: this is fiction. Why am I investing so much time or energy into it? But it's for the very reasons above--fiction is not real but even fantasy and sci-fi say things about the human condition and life. Great post!

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