This year I’ve done something different – I’ve signed up to #NaNoWriMo. Which is simply to say that I intend to take telling stories seriously. And this is why…
Stories are important. We need more of them, and more storytellers.
There’s a recent kerfuffle in the blogging world which goes like this: blogging is dead, long live brand relationships and instant celebrity.
Us, old bloggers – those of us who are clawed and long-toothed – say ‘bollocks’ to the kerfuffle. We’ve seen it all before, and we understand that the real point of ‘blogging’ as with writing anything, is to tell the story. It’s the stories that encourage faith and hope, stories that share the love and stories that help us to go on.
I’ve known stories that once told, have saved a life.
I’ve known stories that have been carved from the storyteller’s own soul and shared with their readers in such a beautiful way it was almost self-sacrifice. Stories that remind us of our own strength, and our own humour – even if at times that humour is as black as the challenge we are facing.
We’ll always have time to read stories like that.
And here’s to the storytellers who believe in the power of stories. To the Parable tellers, and the oral historians. To the teachers and entertainers. To the pastors and caregivers. Storytellers all.
So even though I hear constant threat of blogging’s imminent demise, I don’t listen. I know that we will always have time to read – whether on a kindle, or an ipad or a good old-fashioned pages-smelling-of-dust, book.
Even though our news feeds are full of beautiful blogs, adorned with pastel-perfect pictures of pretty things, there are those blogs that aren’t simply eye-candy – blogs that are real. Blogs where you can almost see the blood from the rent vein, on the page.
Interestingly, these blogs remain well-read. We respect the blogger’s sacrifice of privacy, of time, of tears.
Some of the most beautiful and inspiring blogs I’ve read are from bloggers I’ve known for ages. Have a read of Kirsty’s blog. I dare you to not come away smiling with admiration. Or check out Bruce (no, not like that!) and the beautiful words he’s managed to craft as he’s shared his family’s crisis. Who knew a fart could be such a miraculous thing?
For relatable words drawn from the humdrum and blogged so achingly realistically try Mrs Woog for size. To my mind, this is talent; the ability to draw out something interesting from the mundane everyday. This is a type of Sartre writing for the present day.
And there are others – Bronnie the journo who writes about her fractured heart and family and throws in a little everyday chaos for some good laughs, Simone who shares the joy of her family and faith without fudging over the difficulties and Dan and Audrey share the stories from people who would otherwise not have a voice, and manage to travel wide, and live deep.
These people, these storytellers are our Greek chorus and our Maori elders. They are the Plutarchs of our generation. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from the New Testament and the Brothers Grimm. Sure, they type rather than speak, they organise widgets and plugins and they have their sponsors, who help pay the bills so that they can tell their stories.
But the raison d’etre is not all about the brands they represent. It’s about the stories they tell, the people they meet, the twists in the tale that makes their life seem so coherently written, even if only when read back. These people are my everyday heroes and heroines, and I want to be just like them.
When people bemoan the death of blogging, I smile a little.
Perhaps, what they mean is a death of a certain stage in worldwide blogging, a stage when we were all fresh and new and made newbie mistakes and when there was a fragile freshness – something that made being part of the blogging scene absolutely irresistible I might add.
But the death of telling stories? I fear the story of [that] demise is very much exaggerated. (Apologies Mark Twain).
Words are more powerful than swords, and words that are cut out from the writer’s heart of their own life, and laid bare on the screen for us to read… well, that’s priceless.
Do you think #bloggingisdead ?
Share with us in the comments below your favourite bloggers so we can all hear and share their stories.
As for me, back to the keyboard, NaNoWriMo and the rent veins.