Some of you know that I love cute and silly coffee cups. The highlight of this past weekend was finding this amazing Scooby Doo coffee cup in the shape of the Mystery Machine. In fact, I love it so much I decided not to drink out of it and it has a place of honor on my bookshelf. Now besides being a perpetual eight year-old fan girl, why did this find excitement so much? It’s because I love Scooby Doo and always will. It was a story and characters that I loved as a small child that feeling has never gone away. The idea of being a teenager driving a van all over the country solving mysteries without adult supervision was cool then and it is cool now.
We never stop loving our favorite stories. It can be things we read when we were little (Trixie Belden mysteries), discovered when we were teenagers (Doctor Who), stood in line for ten years ago (Skyfall), binged during the lockdown (every Marvel movie in order), or my current obsession (the Paranormal Museum Mysteries).
Stories, once they get in our blood never leave us. They have the power to inspire and excite. To make us feel better about ourselves and our fellow humans. We love watching the Avengers save the world because they make us feel like anything is possible, especially if we all work together. I like to think that stories can save the world. They expose us to new ideas, places, and people. Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped fan the flames of abolition and the Civil War. Sinclair Lewis’ muckraking novel The Jungle about poor conditions in a meatpacking plant led to the passage of the Pure Food & Drug Act, laying the groundwork for the the creation of the FDA. Did you know that reading and watching stories actually makes you a better person? According to one study, fiction readers are more emphatic.
Everyone is a storyteller. You may think you’re not a writer or that you have nothing to say. But everyone has a story to tell that can make their work standout or their introduction memorable. When my family gets together, we laugh and tell stories. I bet yours does to. What is your story? What did you overcome to get where you are today? What are you working through now? How can you take that story and use to inform your work, making it memorable and authentic? We all have our stories and they are powerful. Stories matter.
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