Why do we tell stories?
You could probably give me at least a million different reasons. We tell stories to entertain, distract, raise awareness, help others, even just to make money. Everyone has their own reason.
But really, every storyteller has something in common. Deep down—so deep down, in some cases, that the person doesn’t even know it’s there—is the desire to tell stories that change the world. Stories that transform people. Stories that will last long after we’re gone. Meaningful stories. (If you haven’t guessed it yet, that’s what my career is all about!)
But why is it so important that we tell these stories? After all, not every story is meaningful. Brainless comedy, flashy action, cringey romance… We know what two-dimensional, hastily-thrown-together stories look like. If there’s one word to describe them, it’s forgettable. Years from now, no one will know them. They’ll have passed into obscurity with no impact left on the world whatsoever.
Meaningful stories—the ones that matter—are remarkably different. It’s Frankenstein, where the plot makes you question who really is the monster. It’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where the Pevensie children show you that no one is too young or old to discover magic and fight for good. It’s Pride and Prejudice, forcing you to consider just how much we miss because of our judgmental and prideful thoughts.
Think of the stories that impacted you as a child, the ones that inspired you or made you see the world a bit differently (I’d love to hear about them in the comments!). The books that you still remember because they touched you so deeply. This is what I’m talking about. Stories are powerful, and simply using them for entertainment is like using a sword as a letter opener. They don’t even come close to reaching their full potential—and neither do you!
With our words, we can speak to people’s hearts and shape the future. So why not do it? Why not make something that matters rather than something that time will corrode in a decade? Let’s stop telling half-hearted stories and create meaningful ones instead. You have the power—what will you do with it?
And if you’re not sure how to start, take a look at some of my many posts on the topic. Or if you need some more pointed guidance, check out my coaching and feedback services!
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3 thoughts on “Why Does It Matter to Tell Stories that Matter?”
“Let’s stop telling half-hearted stories and create meaningful ones instead.” I’ll have to remember this line the next time I watch television with my wife. It happens all the time. We’ll be bingeing something and I’ll break into the show, complaining about the writing. I’m dating myself here, but I call it the “Three’s Company” affect. Where some silly thing has happened and the viewer knows what’s going on, but the characters don’t. I’ll always tell my wife that with great writing it could have been memorable, but instead it’s a cheap laugh that you forget a few minutes later. You’re so right, storytelling is important and leaves a mark on us that we never forget. Thanks for sharing.
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I’m so glad you liked this post! And yes, that trope is very often done so horribly (or just overdone). It’s great that you can recognise the problem, though! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! Here’s to meaningful storytelling! 😁
Yes, good storytelling makes a difference!
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