Why We Need Stories

This has been hanging on my wall for a year or more. I’m putting it here so it’s in a place more permanent. I’m unpacking this moment by moment in my life, and it’s definitely something I want to live better in this new year. (Thanks to my friends at Fishhook for bringing this to my attention first).

Stories are our prayers, so write and edit and tell them with due reverence, even when the stories themselves are irreverent. Stories are parables. Write and edit and tell yours with meaning so each tale stands in for a larger message, each moment is a lesson, each story a guidepost on our collective journey.

Stories are history; write and edit and tell yours with accuracy, understanding and context with unwavering devotion to the truth. Stories are music; write, edit and tell yours with pace and rhythm and flow, throw in dips and twirls that make them exciting, but stay true to the core beat. Remember that readers hear stories with their inner ear.

Stories are our conscience; write and edit and tell yours with a passion for the good they can do, the wrongs they can right, the truths they can teach, the unheard voice they can give sound to. And stories are memory; write and edit and tell yours with respect for the past they archive and for the future they enlighten.

Finally, stories are our soul; so write and edit and tell yous with your whole selves. Tell them as if they are all that matters, for if that is what you do-tell our collective stories-it matters that you do it as if that is all there is.

Pulitzer prize winner Jacqui Banaszynksi