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Shenandoah Takes on the Whys and Whatfors

Two great back-to-back posts on Snopes: A Blog for the Shenandoah Journal : “Why I Write, and Why I May Not Hve a Choice in the Matter” by nash16 (Emma Nash?) and “The Power of Storytelling” by Anna Kathyryn Barnes.

Nash and Barnes both question the value and importance of writing and storytelling. Nash references Orwell’s essay, “Why I Write” as well as Alice W. Flaherty’s book The Midnight Disease which explores of the neurological reasons for the ‘need’ to write.

Barnes takes on the questions of why what we write matters, whether or not stories have a point or make any change in the world. Big questions, to be sure, but she calls upon Chimnmanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” which supports the need for many stories in our lives. Barnes then connects this with The Facing Project, “a national non-profit organization that works with communities to connect through storytelling over a particular challenge or social issue.” Her work with The Facing Sexual Violence Project combines the networking organization with her value of storytelling in an effort to address sexual violence in Rockbridge County, VA.

Both of these essays pose and respond to critical questions writers ask themselves time and again and together they make an excellent starting point for discussion and call to action. Snopes  has the helpful feature of print and PDF options on each of their blog posts, so these make it easy to assign as online reading that students to print and bring along to class.

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