It always surprises me every time I hear someone say, “I’m not a writer.” I don’t have any stats to back me up, but just going on gut instinct, I think in today’s gadget-oriented world, we write almost as much as we converse, if not more. We text, we send emails, even when we “chat” on Facebook, we are writing.
Not only do words connect us to others, they connect us to ourselves. Yes, there were endless jokes and some targeted spinoffs about the book titled “Women Who Run with the Wolves,” but nevertheless, it demonstrates the importance of stories, myths and legends in healing the psyche. When we read the words written by others, we are reassured or reminded that we are not alone – others have gone before us; they know what it’s like; while each one of us is unique, there are things we have in common.
The truth is we are all writers of stories in one way or another. Stories are important. They can help us make sense of the world around us. Tales of far away places let us encounter other countries and cultures that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. Stories fill in the blanks of our collective knowledge.
Over the years, my sister has built up a tolerance to the stories I tell. She wants the information now; no frills just the facts. But I want her to hear about the journey; what it felt like to begin and how I arrived at the ending. When I spin my tale for her to hear, I am (hopefully) creating a context for shared experience.
While I might lament every now and then over the dilution of the English language, I keep reminding myself communication can take all forms. Ultimately it is the story that is important, no matter how it’s (spelt or) told.