I have been reading Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf recently and am reminded how much of his own story is surely being told within those pages. Tolstoy as well (particularly Levin from Anna Karenina).
It seems ironic to me that any trend toward not telling one’s own stories or using them for significant inspiration can even exist in the writing world when so much great writing has been just short of autobiographical. Hesse’s Haller posits that many people—particularly “Americans” and bourgeoisie—have been taught to hate themselves. No wonder they don’t feel anyone would be interested in hearing their story.
Then again, there is plenty of the opposite as well, those who won’t shut up about themselves.
Telling everyone they are fascinating smacks a little of “you can do anything.” I love that your encouragement is focused on the person without forging a false sense of skill or accomplishment. Having a fascinating story doesn’t mean you can tell it or write it well. We all have to start somewhere.
I enjoy the NPR stories they occasionally run. I wonder if somehow watching those events unfold on a Facebook page would be less interesting, less valuable.