Why Do We Tell Stories?

This weekend my wife allowed me to have “Bob Time,” which usually means I go somewhere and write. I normally meet with my friend Josh and sometimes Andy once a week, but sometimes you cannot fit all of the writing you have inside you in that short amount of time.

I went to my favorite place Schuler Books and Music on Alpine Ave and got a cup of coffee, an almond bar, a table and chair then delved into my writing world. Before long I had written out the scene I had in my mind then started wandering about the bookstore.

As I wandered, I was overwhelmed at the amount of books and was soon thinking to myself, why on earth am I writing at all. Hasn’t everything that should and could be said already been said? Why am I adding to the countless other books that lay on these shelves or in the dollar bin?

Sorry for starting out so philosophical on a Monday morning, but I’ve had this on my mind for quite some time and this is something I wrestle with. There are times when I am writing my story that I begin to feel like I am being unreal or fake, times when I feel purposeless in my writing.

I just wonder sometimes, why do I, and we, tell stories? Why are they continually written?

If you have time today, I would like you to answer the question: Why do you write? And to the non writing reader: Why do you read and share stories?



5 thoughts on “Why Do We Tell Stories?

  1. I write because I have stories to tell. I write because, as narcisistic as it is, my writing makes me laugh and feel good about myself. I write because I enjoy adding a little bit of myself to the world.

    I know that there are other reasons to write. I just finished reading a book (I’ll give a full review on my blog on Wednesday) that was written by a man with a specific agenda. He was trying to sway readers to his viewpoint. I’m not a fan of this reason to write, but I’m not going to try to squelch his creativity, because I know how good writing is for me on a personal level.

    I just read a good blog (http://writingishardwork.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/tabula-rasa-6-ways-to-begin-writing-a-novel/) about different ways to start a novel. The blog author starts by saying that everyone has a story inside them waiting to get out. I agree, and his tips on how to start may be a good place for other readers and writers to begin.

    1. Josh, all sorts of good stuff in your comment. Thank you. Also, I appreciate you directing me to the blog. I checked it out, very good stuff. Presto – its in my blogroll.

      In regards to the narcissism, I can agree on all of the above. I do laugh at myself, then I cry when I have to edit nearly all of it out!

  2. I don’t write as much as I used to anymore, and I’m not quite sure why, but I do know that part of why I write is that I feel like it’s my way to leave my mark on the world. Whatever I may write – whether it be a serious opinion or a silly story, those words are unique to me and carry some kind of meaning to me, and perhaps if I’m lucky, they’ll carry some kind of meaning to others at some point whether I intended them to or not. Writing helps to define me and it fits with my personality. That’s why I write.

    1. Scott – Great response. It is true we share our meaning or understanding of the world through our stories whether written or spoken. I agree that we all have a story in us. I recently read a blog about it. My friend Josh Mosey – see blogroll or recent comment – showed me a blog called Writingishardwork -see blogroll. Roger said that we all have a story in us, I agree.

      Keep writing!

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