It’s the first Wednesday of the month and therefore it’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. ~ Alex Cavanaugh
I admit that one thing I’m insecure about is telling people in social situations that I write stories for children. Some people look down their noses a bit and yet, the need for stories is as deep seated within us as is our ancient fear of spiders or our need to see trees. Our proto-human forebears started telling stories around the fire, in fact story-telling is the world’s second oldest profession, next to flint-knappers.
I get abiding joy from writing for children. And in my spare time, whether I’m reading the feed on Facebook or reading a magazine, I gravitate towards stories of people’s lives. It’s like a natural response to look for the story.
‘Imagination, not intelligence, made us human. Squirrel’s are quite intelligent when it comes to nuts, but as far as we can tell, they have never told stories about a hero who stole nuts from the gods.’ Terry Pratchett.
And in conversation, I find that no matter how much I resist, I can never just give the bold facts, if something’s happened, I have to tell the story: I have to add drama, a bit of structure and storify it somehow.
There’s no reason to be ashamed of the things that bring you pleasure. Just own it. Make anyone who calls you on it feel horribly awkward. ~ Delilah S. Dawson
Stories are everywhere.
Over on the Ourboox blog this week, Mel Rosenberg said, ‘Everything is a story. Songs, poems, movies, books, lectures, artwork, presentations and lectures, even scientific theses and papers are all based on stories. If you can tell good stories, chances are you’ll succeed in life.’
I like that thought, that my dedication to detail in conversation is not me being a blabbermouth and that my devotion to the story in everything serves a good purpose. Yes, let’s go with that. I remember when Sam, my son with Down Syndrome, was born, I hungered to hear about other parents in the same situation as me. How did they cope? How did these special children develop? I devoured books and magazines, searching for the fabric to help me make sense of the tale that was unfolding for real in my life.
Bill Moyers did a terrific interview on Brainpickings with one of the great thinkers of our times, Martha Nussbaum. Bill asked her, ‘The common perception of a philosopher is of a thinker of abstract thoughts. But stories and myths seem to be important to you as a philosopher.’
Martha Nussbaum replied, ‘Very important, because I think that the language of philosophy has to come back from the abstract heights on which it so often lives to the richness of everyday discourse and humanity. It has to listen to the ways that people talk about themselves and what matters to them. One very good way to do this is to listen to stories.’
Yes, that’s a perfect description of what stories are about for us, they’re our way of talking about ourselves and what matters to us. Our stories are social glue that holds us together, and they also spread our reach further, beyond ourselves. In financial circles, there is such a thing as the highly-regarded value of ‘storyum’, you may be a financial wunderkind but if you can’t spin the story as well, you will fail.
Why do I Write for Children?
As the inimitable Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne put it so eloquently in 1853, Children are now the only representatives of the men and women of that happy era (the golden age) and therefore it is that we must raise the intellect and fancy to the level of childhood, in order to recreate the original myths.
As readers, we sit by ourselves, alone in a silent room, and by doing that solitary thing we connect with other people — across time and space! It’s amazing when you think about it. ~ James Preller
Our stories matter. What we do matters.
So why do I still feel insecure about telling people I’m a writer? Are you insecure or do you walk proud?
Talk to you next time,
Yvette K. Carol
Failure is the start point for future success.~ Bob Mayer
I love that!