When it comes to taking any action in life, it’s important that we always pause and ask the question “Why?” Now it’s no mystery that I love stories. In fact, my entire body of work is based on reading, writing, and sharing them. So today, I pose the question, “Why write stories?”
From a communication perspective, the greatest spiritual sages of all time have chosen the story format because it’s both easier for many people to relate to and because the short format allowed them to keep a reader’s attention long enough to communicate the messages they were trying to convey.
For those of us drawn to a spiritual path, the question “Why?” is likely to be very prevalent in our lives. Sometimes we may be questioning why we engage in a specific behavior, maybe we are asking why certain patterns emerge in our lives or why specific things happened, perhaps we are wondering why certain things haven’t happened, or just why we exist.
Regardless of what we are inquiring about, the question of “Why?” also applies to stories. Alan Dolit sums it up best when he says to ask yourself these two questions:
1.What is it for?
2.Why do I want to do this instead of doing something else?
Different motives for writing can produce entirely different stories. The primary motive for most writers I have interviewed is to share wisdom with others in hope of shortening their spiritual evolutionary path. Sometimes, we write in hopes of inspiring other people.
However, contrary to popular belief, not all stories are meant to be read. Yes, you read that correctly, and it is important enough to write again:
Not all stories are meant to be read.
How can that be, you ask? Sometimes a story is like a journal. We might write it as our own internal monologue to help us work through issues we may have, or we might write to help explore other facets of our personality… or even our experience of reality as we see it.
More often than not, writing stories is about a little bit (or a lot) of all of the above. Rarely is it one or the other, but rather, it is an expression of our holistic self connecting both with our self and others. It allows those of us who have never considered ourselves to be “writers” to find great enjoyment and meaning
in writing our own stories.
Understanding the more personal elements of writing enables us to get past some of the fears and roadblocks we might have about being a “good” writer or a “bad” one, or whether our audience will enjoy the story or not.
Story writing happened to me on accident; I never considered myself a story writer, and it was only possible because I allowed myself to be open to new experiences and uncharted territory. It was possible because I stepped away from the ideas of who I thought I was or should be, and instead I was present with my immediate experience.
Whether you ever choose to write stories or not, I’m going to impart you with one piece of advice that you can apply anywhere in life. When faced with a new opportunity that you’re unsure about, ask yourself one simple question:
“If I didn’t have any preconcieved ideas about who I am or should be, if I didn’t perceive my weaknesses as limitations, is this something I might be curious about?”
Your partner in spiritual growth,
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