The Power of Story

When I was young, the thing I looked forward to most was when the grown ups would all gather around the dinner table to tell stories. They would take turns, weaving their tales—from past or present—and the ultimate goal would be to make everyone in the room laugh so hard, that they thought they were going to die. Sometimes I wouldn’t get the jokes, but that didn’t matter; I would be captivated, and I would laugh on cue with everyone else anyways. It didn’t happen very often, but these short moments, are some of my best memories of growing up.

Storytelling can be a great tool. If you can captivate an audience with a story, they can become clay in your hands. Many companies have turned to storytelling as a way to sell their products more efficiently or in an attempt to create a myth around their business.
In a recent episode of This American Life, that was re-released Sep 19, 2014, they discuss how the founders of Google, after they already had major investments in their company, bought a garage to stage their company out of, in an attempt to have a more compelling origin story. Did you hear, those guys from Google started in their garage!? When in reality they only spent about five months in the garage. Why the deception? The founders of Google lied to us, because they understood the power of a great story and how most of us are suckers for them.

I have always written, but I never thought of myself as a writer. Writing was something I just did occasionally, but the words would come out stiff and unconnected. I would sit down with my composition notebook, or my type writer, or word processor, or computer—depending on which stage of poverty I was in—with delusions of great grandeur. Okay today is going to be the day I am going to hammer out the next sci-fi classic! Just to give up, after only being able to muster a single sentence, that was usually, “the night was” levels of cliché.

Writing has saved my life. Recently, I was dealing with a level of depression I hadn’t experienced before. I felt like I had no outlet. I had all this creativity building, with no way to express it. Until I began to write. I started this blog, with no real thoughts of it going anywhere, but in hopes that it would relieve some of that creative pressure that was building; and so far it is working.
Writing has given me something to look forward to and I want to continue doing it more regularly. So, that is way I am setting up a very set schedule and specific outline for my blog. From now on, I will be releasing two posts—at a minimum—weekly. They will be released Tuesdays and Fridays. My blog will follow this type of format:

Tuesdays will be #TrueTuesdays, these posts will be nonfiction in nature. They will consist of funny anecdotes on my life past, future, present or my take on any topic I choose. The only set boundaries I will have for myself will be that these posts will be nonfiction.

Fridays will be #FictionFridays—see what I did there? Fridays will be exactly how they sound. I will use Friday to express my joy for writing fiction. These will be short snippets of flash fiction or maybe longer pieces, if I am feeling up to it. So no matter if you enjoy nonfiction essays or prefer fiction, I hope to have something for all of you.

Finally, I just want to thank everyone who has already subscribed to my blog and everyone who has supported me already. I hope you will stick with me and that I can return the favor, by writing something that you will be able to relate to or at least find something in to enjoy.

Now I want to ask you! Has something creative—a hobby or something like that–in your recent past, gotten you through a tough time? Please tell us about it, in the comments below!

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

To listen to that episode of This American Life, and I suggest you do, go here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/535/origin-story-2014

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19 thoughts on “The Power of Story

  1. I LOVE THIS! I totally understand what you mean that writing saved your life. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to TrueTuesdays, that’s a great idea. Ps. This American Life is amazing!

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  2. I so can relate. Like you, I have always wanted to have wrote a novel about my challenges I overcame in the hope to inspire. For the meantime, I’ll stick to blogging.

    It’s wonderful to see a writer fully take notice of their readers. Your plan for your blog is superb. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of True Tuesday especially if it ends up being a funny one. I also started my blog in Jan of this year and realized how much I forgot that I loved to write.. It is so relaxing.. even if I am interrupted a million times while doing it.

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    • Thank you Aimee! I would love to keep true Tuesdays to humorous stories that are fun to tell! And to use fiction Fridays for all sorts of things! Thanks again for the comment and the support! I really appreciate it!

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  4. I’m following you on WordPress. Yes, I agree w/what your saying and it’s funny when I published my “About Me” page we are similar in experiences as well. Just keep doing what you doing. There’s a plan for us, faith, God, spirit, your own self whatever you believe in has a plan unfolding for you. Your doing it and inspired to have read this post
    Thanks
    http://www.cierrasplayground.com

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  5. It is amazing how a story can hook you, entrance you & even heal you all in the same. I can’t wait to see what True Tuesday & Fiction Friday has in store!

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  6. Isn’t it interesting how storytelling (and story listening) gives us a sense of family and belonging? I think I find myself doing physical things when I need a little stability and strength to get through a tough time.

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  7. For me, photography, baking and creative fiber arts help me to deal with the crazy things life throws at me. I do love writing, but some days it is more of a stress (as I try to make deadlines, etc.). Glad you have been able to find something that lets you release.

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  8. You already know this but….working on cars is my stress relief. Every time I go in the garage it puts me in a good mood. Now, sometimes my cars will stress me out but that is just part of the fun. It still takes my mind off of other things and in the end gives me a sense of accomplishment. Keep up the good job man.

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