I always feared that starting a blog without a firm sense of purpose for doing so might seem indulgent. And then 2020 happened.
For me, being largely sequestered from family and friends during this odd era of disruption has lead to much reflection and I’ve come to realize that there are many stories that should be shared. So yes, we’re talking about “storytelling”– that liberal arts cliché we invoke in college marketing materials and bandy about as a concept a bit too freely.
Yet, I love storytelling and absolutely believe in the power of it. (I was a Drama major after all.) And sharing the stories of other people is of particular interest because they’re frequently humble and won’t do so themselves.
Chuck Palahniuk [paula-nick, if you’re curious], the author of Fight Club among many others, recently published a book on the topic of writing, Consider This. The book operates as both a writing class and a repository for great stories. The author was inspired to write the book when he realized that many of his best stories derived from friends who were no longer with us. It spooked him. “Somebody’s gotta write these things down and collect them so they’re not just lost.”
That is a wonderful reason to write via whatever longer form vehicle is at your disposal. But, I think there’s another. In an era of divisiveness, isn’t this the moment to step back from the Twitter-length burps and quips (and snark and one-upmanship) of our daily social media digests and dive deeper? And if we’re lucky, inspire each other along the way?
I hope so, and even if a firm sense of purpose isn’t required, maybe I just found mine. In any event, the storytelling should do me some good. And perhaps it will for someone else. Who knows? Just gotta jump.