Joan Didion said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Indeed, there may be nothing more fundamental to the human experience than our attraction to stories, to hearing and telling them.
The live story program, The Moth, is aptly named: when we hear stories, we become like moths instinctively drawn to a flame. Think back to your childhood, when you would listen with rapt attention to stories around the campfire or kitchen table. You probably still remember some of those tales and what they meant to you.
We tell stories for all sorts of reasons. To connect with our fellow humans. To make sense of life’s events and mysteries. To imprint important lessons and experiences onto our memories. To bring joy, pleasure, and laughter to ourselves and our listeners.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have in our kit, yet few of us draw on it as we should. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, if it involves another human, there is almost certainly an opportunity for storytelling to aid you.
While some folks are born storytellers, most of us aren’t. We listen to learn and build our skills over time.
This is where I will be chronicling notions on what makes a story work, what goes into good writing, and other topics from time to time. Glad to have you on the journey.