Sometimes I wish my blog was more useful than it was. I wish I had advice on how to get into the publishing industry, or make a bestselling story. Maybe my blog would be better if I offered more advice, sought out an audience, focused more on social networking, or tried to promote myself more.
But I keep focusing on stories, and I think I now have the words for why.
Industries, tips, means of making money, health, and living tips are good things for a blog to have. Such things make our lives better, and enable us to live in comfort and well.
But once we live in comfort, what comes next? Living in comfort is something that every creature aspires to some degree, an offshoot of the basic animal instinct to survive and feed. We follow those instincts very differently from animals, but we do pursue survival and food, security and comfort. It’s what we do after these things are obtained that tell most about us. Reading and writing are some of the most important things we can do in our leisure, precisely because we don’t have to do either of those things. There are more ‘useful’ occupations with to spend our time. But taking in stories- or telling them- satisfies something in us. They’re entertaining. They can enlighten us about new kinds of people and places.
I also think that stories function on a much deeper level. Storytelling dominates our lives; we learn concepts in school, but they sink based on examples: basically miniaturized stories. Casual conversation will be filled with anecdotes of events that happened either to ourselves, our friends, or the friends of friends. And if you subscribe to the worrying view that literacy/education/general smarts are on the decline, especially among us younger folk (and unfortunately certain stats suggest this isn’t altogether unfounded) then I honestly believe that good stories can help turn those around. Anyone is willing to put effort into something that repays them in some way, and stories help us think about the world and ourselves at their best. And even when they’re just there for entertainment, I still think that’s worthwhile. Getting invested in other worlds and fictional characters satisfies a curiosity about what’s out there that we can’t see for ourselves, and does so in a way that, ideally, can improve our minds.
I think that’s worth devoting a blog to. And maybe someday I’ll have more than just a collection of disjointed ramblings on storytelling- ideally I’ll have made a few stories of my own.