Story Time

The pastor at my church started a summer series using story telling as a theme.  Not just any story telling mind you, she will be using Disney stories.  If you are in the Charleston, SC area, you might want to stop by and check it out.  People have been using stories as a way of sharing in every culture beginning with stories told in pictures on rock walls.  Stories are a way of sharing our lives with family and friends—and sometimes compete strangers.

Blogs have become a great way for modern day storytellers to share.  Blogs that tell a compelling story are the ones I want to read.  Yesterday someone asked me what kind of things I wrote about on my blog.  I actually had to stop and think about it. The best way to describe my writing on my blog is storytelling.  I tell stories about my life, my family, my friends, and more.

Blogs seem more focused on telling true stories rather than fiction, although some people use the platform for sharing their fiction work.  Why would thousands of bloggers want to share their personal stories with complete strangers on the internet?

People obviously have a variety of reasons to share.  Some people share their political views and want to sway others to their way of thinking.  People use their stories as a way of sharing their religious views with the world.  Some share recipes from their Grandmother’s kitchen or things they learned about gardening from their mother.  Some blogs share stories in pictures rather than words or a combination of both.   Then there are those few who just rant and rave about anything that crosses their path.  I tend not to follow those blogs.

Back to Sunday morning for moment-the Pastor talked about hearing stories as a child and having wonderful memories of her Grandfather sharing his memories.   I didn’t have that gift in my life.  In the “About Page” on my blog, I mentioned that “don’t ask – don’t tell” was a practice in my family.   Actually, my family did tell stories, but there were “stories.”  I don’t know if people still the term as we did when I was a child, but telling “stories” meant telling a lie.   If we use the lie definition, my family was good at telling “stories.”

My therapist was frustrated because my answer for many of her questions was “I have no idea.”  One day she gave me the assignment to ask questions of the people who were still alive.  I was thirty-five before I heard many of the stories of family members and stories from my childhood.   My mother and father were the only ones I could ask.  Some of the stories from my childhood contained some of the same facts but also had some interesting discrepancies.  It reminded me that the stories I tell are from my perspective and my memory or the stories told to me by others.

So, why in the world would I want to share my stories?  Many of my stories are about growing up with a variety of abuse, neglect, and stories of my journey as adult dealing with issues of religion, spirituality, addictions, recovery, marriage and divorce.  Quite often, my stories are sad and painful, not only for me, but at times for readers as well.  But, there are also stories of hope and healing.

Part of telling my story is to continue to heal and grow myself.  I also share because I know that hearing another person’s story gives validity to what someone thinks and feels.  It gives others hope for their own healing.  It lets them know they are not alone.

In an article, The Importance of Sharing Abuse Stories, it says,

With the explosion of the Internet, we now have access to the stories of people in every type of abusive situation, and I personally believe that this is a boon to abuse survivors. We need to share our stories somewhere, whether it’s a blog, a blog comment, a forum post, or a social network, because it actually helps all of us move out of a state of victimization by reassuring us that our story is real because it’s being shared by other abuse survivors.

I hope that most of my stories share a vision of hope and encouragement not only for abuse survivors but for everyone.

I wonder if I shared that quote because I am still looking for validation and approval for sharing my stories. Maybe by continuing to write and share, I will find I don’t need that any longer.  I hope so.

Do you think storytelling is important?    Do you share your personal story in your writing?

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

35 responses

  1. I think to an extent there is a little bit of every author in their writing. Do I run around the galaxy and shoot fire out of my hands? Well, no. But these ideas have to come from somewhere, right?

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  2. I do both – Essays and fiction. And my goal in starting my blog was to increase my platform; force me to write at least 3 times a week; and eventually get a column somewhere. Two out of three…so far. I do share a lot, but I’m careful to keep to myself certain stories that my children don’t want me to share.

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  3. I share mainly about my family but I have done a few very personal posts about my postpartum depression & psychosis journey. It’s really hard to put it all out there for others to judge but I’m working on it.

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  4. I also use blogging as therapy, and I’ve mostly received positive feedback. There are stories, however, that I may need to start an anonymous blog for, as the main characters are still alive. 🙂

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    1. This exactly. There are things I’d really like to talk about but I don’t to protect the people in my life.

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    2. I say go for it Cat! (-:

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      1. You! Always encouraging me to do things that are beneficial. Oh ok, I guess I’ll give it a try. 🙂

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    3. I did have a private blog for quite a while. I finally started sharing it in January of this year. Many of characters are no longer alive but some still are. The response has been good from all so far. It is a risk!! Good luck, Cat

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  5. I do mostly personal essays. In the rare moments I want to write fiction I put it on my second blog. I use my blog forum as a way to keep family informed about my life but also to express my self through writing. I love writing and blogging is the perfect practise to sharpen your art.

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  6. I agree that we need to share our stories and be supports for other people. It’s my hope that someone who needs to will stumble upon one of my posts and get something from it. It’s not always easy, but it’s important, and I do write very openly on my blog.

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  7. I agree that sharing abuse stories can be helpful for some people. Also, I think it’s sad that you didn’t get to hear any true stories as a child!

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  8. I absolutely share personal stories while blogging. I think they make for some of the best connections with readers, and I think they help us heal.

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    1. I agree!! Thanks

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  9. Writing is cathartic whether you tell your story through metaphor or straight up. Whether you’re looking for validation, praise for your skills, a book contract, or simply a creative outlet, it’s all good. You’re a writer. It’s what you do. Sharing personal stories is a good thing. It triggers memories, clarifies those memories, and releases them.

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    1. It is cathartic and has been an amazing adventure. Thanks for reading.

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  10. Yes, I use my blog for storytelling. It’s a form of therapy for me as well. My dad came out of the closet when I was 15 and my parents split up then. I’ve had a lot of issues over the years from that. but just recently a friend encouraged me to pitch my “story” to The Moth (www.themoth.org) and i did. my pitch is now live on the site, but i have to wait for votes and I guess for them to decide if they want to hear more. Sounds like you might be a good candidate for THe Moth as well. You should check out the site if you aren’t already familiar!

    found you over at yeah write & am glad I did!

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    1. I am definetly going to check out the site. I will find your pitch on there as well. Telling your story is powerful.
      Thank you

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  11. chosenchaosblog | Reply

    I love stories but fiction and non… I think all of them are important to hear, read, experience!

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  12. I use my blog to share personal stories about myself and my family, but also as a source of ideas for articles I write. I like to “play” on there.
    I love stories in general, though – sad and happy ones. In Nuremberg, where I come from, we had the “House of Stories” , where storyteller would tell stories from all over the world. One of my favourite places to go!

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  13. Blogging is the great new forum for that ancient art of storytelling. I love that anyone who wants to can publish something. I love that I get to write with my friend. I love that I am talking about the people and the experiences that are important to me. I am new to this blogging thing for sure, but this writing thing—well, that’s been with me forever. Erin

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  14. My goal, too, was to start a blog as a platform. I mostly write essays, but I want to branch out with fiction, too.

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  15. I love the bumper sticker “Blogging is cheaper than therapy.” That kind of sums it up for me.

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    1. Love it. Thanks for sharing

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  16. Absolutely. And I enjoy the perspective that comes from reading others’ stories.

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  17. tara pohlkotte | Reply

    girl, i love me some story telling. in whatever context. even with the little fabrications, it all comes from our perspective truth or otherwise. 🙂 stories are important to tell.

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    1. Thanks…I agree!!

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  18. Indeed, I think story telling is vitally important. It’s how we understand others, ourselves, and the world. It’s how we make sense out of our lives. And I like how you discussed it in relation to blogging because you are right; we are all just sharing our stories.

    The tales we tell are so special and unique because they are dependent on a time and a place, and like a snowflake, they are unique to us. No two people can have the same life stories.

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  19. I use my blog to tell some old stories and new ones. Blogging has become such an outlet for me. I do it for fun and for healing. I use it to balance the heavier writing in my memoir. The blog is my more lighthearted stuff.

    Thought provoking post.

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  20. I use blogging for stories, therapy, to preserve memories for my kids, to laugh, to cry – all of it. Great post.

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  21. I think story telling is a great way to teach/learn. Stories heal, inspire dreams, ignite passion, encourage love and give hope.

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  22. While my family of origin wasn’t abusive, I grew up in a family that was largely “don’t ask, don’t tell” as well…. and it’s something I’ve always hated about my family. I know very little about most of my family members lives, past or present… and while I’ve made peace with the fact that’s just the way my family of origin is, I’ve found that I don’t want to live my life like that… and that’s a large reason why I blog and why many of the people I consider my close friends are storytellers.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that. I was told that family can be of origin or choice. I have connections with one of two family of origin and my kids and grandkids but all the rest are family of choice. And that is what I love about my life today. I do have choice. Glad you found close friends and story tellers.

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  23. You’re from Charleston? I live in Bakersfield, California; but I was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina and lived there from 1962-2005. Charleston is such a beautiful place. Thank you for following my blog. I have since returned the gesture. Oh, and I love your red hair.

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    1. Thanks. I have been to Spartanburg many times. I assume you have been to the Beacon. LOL

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      1. Oh yes. That fine establishment where you order fast or you don’t order at all that serves some of the best iced tea I’ve ever tasted. If you’re from Spartanburg or the surrounding area and you haven’t been to the Beacon at least once you are truly missing out.

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