I think there is an innate need to tell stories, a need to share our lives and the details of our days with others. Everyone is a storyteller in some sense, and like all things some people are better storytellers than others. This need, desire, to tell stories is found in most cultures on our planet, if not all. Storytelling is the basic function of how we communicate and get to know each other, how we are able to know others well.
I think there is also a need to hear stories, a need to be entertained by the lives of others. That explains our reasons for liking Shakespeare, the Bible, meeting with friends to hear about there days, “Reality TV,” etc. Often we tell stories we’ve heard from others, relishing the details of people we’ve never met.
In that, I believe we are all both absorbers and tellers of stories. Stories fuel our imagination, let us know people and things we couldn’t otherwise. Stories are on the news, stories are in the papers, stories online, stories are everywhere. We write stories in emails, stories in facebook updates, stories on blogs.
Also, I think that the urge to tell stories comes to some as writing fiction, others as writing poetry, others as nonfiction, some as oral storytellers too. I believe that anyone can benefit in their lives by writing (or speaking) stories and even just thoughts. That is one of the reasons why I teach creative writing—it allows people to explore stories they may not know they have inside.
What do you think of stories and storytelling?