Stories are all around us; they mark the undercurrent that drives the ocean of civilization – always present, often just under the surface, always pulling you under into their flow when you least expect it.
We tell and listen to anecdotes, we read stories, we watch them acted on the screen or stage, we study them in history, we daydream them when wanting, we devise them when needing to make sense of the world. We name planets, stars, constellations, oceans, land masses, cities – even our own children – after characters in our stories.
We admire the world’s great tale spinners – Shakespeare and Homer – as among the greatest people to have ever lived; we admire those who act out the roles of characters in stories so much that we often are unable to differentiate between the actor and the role.
Long after companies and institutions and even nations have fallen and are forgotten, their stories remain. Name Rome’s richest man or its largest plantation with the greatest profits. You can’t. But we remember the myth of Romulus and Remus and Virgil’s epic poetry.
And of all those nations we’ve forgotten, even the ones that were great because they won a battle on some godforsaken plain or were blessed with several seasons of good weather so their fields could be fruitful? Without a doubt, what made them memorable – what made them more than just great barbarian warriors or fortunate farmers – were the stories they created. Their stories established, evaluated and passed on the beliefs of their civilization; their stories celebrated human achievement and potential. Indeed, their civilization honored the arts – music, painting, sculpture, the written word, and more – as a way to understand their hopes, their dreams, their universe.
If a culture must tell stories to be civilized, what of an individual? What legacy does the story-illiterate leave? It is of a dry lake bed, nothing but salt and sand and rubble where nothing exists but emptiness.
As a writer, will you contribute to the growth and greatness of your culture and civilization? Or are you content to float upon the ephemeral glory that the skill of our warriors and the good weather has brought us?
Will you create, through the written word, your own personal legacy and that of our civilization? Will you help push us to the shores of tomorrow?
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.