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For the Storytellers

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…


In the beginning there was the word.

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.


'For the Storytellers' has 10 comments

  1. November 7, 2015 @ 6:12 pm Cara

    Well said. And even commercial beasts like me know it.

    The quest for brand recognition and / or celebrity is valid (as valid as any other goal). But few instant celebrities are instantly made – their craft, their storytelling, their insight and the resonance they create is years in the making.

    Commercial storytelling tries to access that pulsing (sometimes bleeding) vein and mine it for profit. They even get lucky from time to time.

    But our real stories, the ones that come from a place of authenticity, openness and courage will always win over a shabby facsimile generated by the group-think on an agency focused on subjugation and greed.

    It’s like any relationship. New and exciting is all good but “truth will out” (thank you Mr Shakespeare)… and that’s as valid now as it was then.

    #longliveblogging #truestoriesmatter #renthroseveins



    • November 8, 2015 @ 12:00 pm Vicki Jeffels

      I absolutely agree with you, real stories will always win out, and even in the commercial world there is a place for those real stories. It reminds me of years ago when I was first out of Uni, when I chose PR over journalism. It seemed an odd choice at the time, but the truth is that working in PR meant that I could have more power over the stories that made it into the media, than if I had worked as a journalist. True story. Thanks for your comment Cara! #longliveblogging #truestoriesmatter


  2. November 7, 2015 @ 8:27 pm Midlife Singlemum

    Good luck with nanowrimo. I consider doing it every year and then talk myself out of it. I agree with you about blogging. There are far more reasons to blog than to be famous and make money. There’s a blogging community that gives so much, a record of your family over the years, a place to have your voice heard and to reach hundreds of people with your message (well maybe only a couple of hundred sometimes but it’s still hundreds), it’s a hobby with a creative outlet, it gives me pleasure.


    • November 8, 2015 @ 12:01 pm Vicki Jeffels

      In honesty, I had a healthy start with this book as I already have the outline sorted and a number of words down, but doing NanoWriMo was a kick up the arse for me. I have a very short window in which I can juggle working and writing and I really need to birth this book especially as it’s been so long in the gestation.


  3. November 10, 2015 @ 8:15 pm Di

    A thoughtful piece of writing and one that holds true for me. I just shake my head at those bloggers who are all about the numbers! Give me the real stories any day. Good luck with your book.
    #longliveblogging #truestoriesmatter


    • November 11, 2015 @ 8:02 am Vicki Jeffels

      Thanks Di, making progress on the book, albeit slowly.


  4. November 18, 2015 @ 11:54 pm Monique

    Really food for thought your blog!


    • January 19, 2016 @ 8:04 am Vicki Jeffels

      Thanks Monique, that’s such a kind comment. Sorry it took so long to reply, for some reason I’m not getting the notifications as I should. Vx


  5. January 13, 2016 @ 11:45 pm Bronnie - Maid In Australia

    Wow. I don’t know how I missed this. Wonderful writing and not just because I am in there (and for that I am honoured) but it reminded me why I write, and made me a bit embarrassed that I haven’t blogged or written more in recent times. We all have our stories to tell … and I don’t believe blogging is dead, not yet. Nor is writing. Keep up the good work with your book – I can’t wait to read it!


  6. January 19, 2016 @ 8:03 am Vicki Jeffels

    Thanks for your reply. Getting there with the book which is why there hasn’t been much blogging on here lately. Also setting up a publishing business to help writers promote and sell their books online. Busy, busy. When I have artwork for both of these projects I will put it up online. Vx


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