Friday, May 09, 2008

The Power of Storytelling

I'm finishing up teaching my Revisions class online and I find myself thinking again about the profound power of storytelling. It's how human beings have always tried to make sense of the world and the people around them. Stories carry power. Some are true, some are not. It's not always clear to me which matter more.

It's one thing to recite statistics about, say, cancer. It's another to hear the story about the woman who lost her sister to cancer or how the children coped with the loss of their mother. It's one thing to see statistics concerning the massacre in Rwanda and another to hear the personal story of a woman who survived. It's one thing to be told we can be who we want to be and another to read about a woman like us who is true to herself and not only finds someone who accepts her but who loves her BECAUSE she is who she is.

Stories have power. And we writers get to create them. And in our stories, we can make things come out right in the end. Or, wrong in the end, if we want to provide a powerful warning about some danger.

Days like this, I can't imagine anything I'd rather be than a writer.