Why is storytelling so important to the world? It’s our TRUTH.

Sometimes, when a concept is pondered, the universe will provide all the inspiration needed.

I watch the HBO show “Westworld”, which I highly recommend for anyone wanting to escape for an hour. This week it provided me with inspiration.

Dr. Robert Ford played by Anthony Hopkins, said in the episode ‘The Stray’:

“Fiction, which like all great stories, is routed in truth.”

This statement really struck a cord with me.

Why are stories and the craft of storytelling, so important to the world?

My grandmother is 95 years old. She still lives by herself at home in Newfoundland. She still washes everything by hand in bleach before it is washed in the laundry.

She still watches her Soap Opera every day.

She calls it her ‘Story’. Do not interrupt my Nan when she is watching her ‘Story'.

It is of great importance to her to get lost in the characters and crazy plots lines of these never ending stories. This escape to another reality has lasted well over 30 years. (Or as long as soap operas have existed, as my Nan has been around long before there was television.)

“Tell me a story!”

Something we have all said or heard in our lives. Stories bring us together around the campfire.

We can escape into the rich and inviting worlds of our favorite authors, in a thrilling tale of adventure like Indian Jones movie, or like my grandmother escape into fantasy world of a soap opera.

A story is a narrative that can relay lessons and warnings. A method in which we can portray dreams of what the future may hold, or allow introspection on what has occurred in the past.

Through stories, we can scare children straight with tales of monsters. Stories give them heroes in which they can aspire, having adventurous journeys in distant lands. Children need these heroes, for heroes are a positive influence on their lives. A template from which they can learn to grow and develop. Stories also teach them to use their imaginations.

The lessons are important to the development of children. Stories offer archetypes as role models for us to emulate and they also show the dark side of humanity for us to abandon.

I am embracing my journey to become a writer because I want to hone my words into well crafted stories. Hopefully they will resonate with my readers.

I am a storyteller at heart. I feel it is my purpose, my destiny if you will. It is important for me to show truths in my stories. I write for myself and through these truths I connect with my characters and the story I am trying to create, if I do not connect, how can I expect anyone else?

Larry Kim recently wrote in a piece:

“Become an expert storyteller. People love a good story and great stories come from sophisticated storytellers. Storytelling is an art form that requires understanding of language and pacing. Master it and people will flock to you.”

Why is this so important to me? Why do I desire to spin a tale? Am I fulfilling my own fantasy of writing for myself? I think it is much greater. Like Plato, I believe art is a purity of truth and maybe my total devotion to it will restore my wings.

Creativity makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. (Unlike how accounting makes me feel, like something boring, going nowhere, and everyday is exactly the same)

I feel the stories inside me come from somewhere else. Something bigger is guiding me to write. It is important because without stories being written there would be no divine intervention. The lessons needed would not be relayed without writers having the courage their truths.

We as writers are always evolving and striving to improve. It is our duty to keep finding new ways to drive home the important truths and the lessons they teach. It is our duty observe and divulge.

Stories give us a point of reference. They show us the good and the bad in a person or in a situation. They allow us to relate and learn from the trials and tribulations of the characters we come to love.

In order for a connection to be made with any character, the character must ring true. Without this truth, we cannot learn empathy.

I cry at commercials sometimes. How is that possible you ask? There was something connecting me with a 30 second spot and its characters. It played at my heart strings or made me think of something that happened in my past. Because of its truthfulness, I could not help but relate. I could not help being empathetic.

Stories must strike a nerve.

Stories have to be able to reflect reality in order for a connection to be ever be made. This reflection of the world sheds light on own reality and allows our minds to open up and reach for something bigger and better.

Stories teach us about hope. They remind us how valuable and intrinsically meaningful our lives really are, even when at times we don’t feel they are.

Stories have the power to save us. They can show us that life can be too beautiful to give up. They can pull us out of the dark. They can make us feel we are not alone in the world. They can make us feel that there is someone else in the world that understands what we are going through.

Stories show us the importance of our lives and of humanity as a whole. If something is important, it needs to be told. What is in our minds bursting to come out, has to be brought to a pure state, free from outside influence.

As storytellers we have a duty to dig deep in order for the truth to shine bright. Without this depth the importance of the message will be lost.

Stephen King once said in an interview:

“Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground. Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world.”

Stories have the power to change our lives. And as a storyteller that is my ultimate purpose. I want my stories to bring people together.

I am like a character in a story, I must live my truth. I can’t turn back when I run into conflict or self-doubt. If I do I will be turning my back on my yearning. I will be giving up my life.