The Power of Storytelling

4 years ago

As the end of the year approaches I find myself thinking a lot about stories -- the stories I've told, the stories I've read, and the stories that all of you have shared with us. As I reflect on all the stories that I connected to in 2012, and wonder what stories I'll hear in 2013, I keep coming back to Litlove's post on the power of stories. Inspired after hearing two authors speak, she reflects on the ways that we use -- and abuse -- storytelling.

"I think that storytelling has tremendous power, far more than we realise, and for this reason, when it comes to life, we can abuse it. Or maybe not abuse it, but lean on it too hard, rely on it too much. What these two authors said to me was that it was one thing to trust to the unfolding of events to turn into a story eventually, quite another to take a story from the shelf, readymade, and try to make real events fit it. I think we do the latter far too much in our culture at the moment, leaning too heavily on stories of triumph over adversity, of achievement and success, of catastrophe and tragedy, when life is very unlikely to conform to such neat and tidy plots. We see the outside of people and assume stories about them that take no account of their messy insides, we enter periods of uncertainty and insecurity and rush to find some narrative –any narrative – that will fit, rather than trust to the uncertainty to gradually resolve itself, or even present brand new twists, new thoughts and ideas and possibilities."

Credit: Joel Montes on Flickr

Did you tell all the stories you wanted to tell in 2012? What do you hope to accomplish with your storytelling in 2013?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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