Quotes of the Week: Stories

Typewriter card via l.i.l.l.i.a.n's flickr photostream

Sometimes I get discouraged about writing.

I love writing. It’s both therapeutic and challenging for me. I would do it whether I got paid for it or not. Sometimes, though, I get really discouraged about it. It feels selfish to sit and work on a writing project – how is it helping people? Is it making a difference? Is it a gigantic waste of time? Can I justify it if I’m not even getting paid for it?

What about you? Do you struggle with feeling selfish about writing or about something else in your life? What do you do about it?

I’ve been reading a great book on narrative journalism the last few weeks, and liked these quotes from it:

“We all grew up with stories, but do we ever stop to think about how much they connect us and how powerful they are?” – Jacqui Banaszynski

“Thank God for stories – for those who have them, for those who tell them, for those who devour them as the soul sustenance that they are. Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life unblind. Without them, everything that happens would float around, undifferentiated. None of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human comes into play. You can laugh, feel awe, commit a passionate act, get pissed, want to change things.” -Tomas Alex Tizon

“Stories are our soul. Write and edit and tell yours with your whole selves. Tell them as if they are all that matters. It matters that you do it as if that’s all there is.” -Jacqui Banaszynski

All quotes from “Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide

What about you? What do you think? Do you think writing and storytelling are important? Do you think they’re a waste of time?

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4 Responses to Quotes of the Week: Stories

  1. Sounds like a good book to read…

    Jennifer Dougan

  2. Suz says:

    I find that I am much more able to re-tell something in story form. I don’t find myself creating stories, but I find myself repeating meaningful, interesting ones.

    • Suz, come to think of it, I agree. I also prefer finding and re-telling stories to making them up. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creative nonfiction/narrative journalism. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand is a really good example. If you like creative nonfiction and want to try to start writing it, I bet you’d really like this book – “Telling True Stories”

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