Childhood, Writing

Why does my story matter?

This is my question today.

And usually every Wednesday.

Or Tuesday.


Why does my story matter?

Okay, so I can weave words in a way sometimes

that makes you almost cry

that makes you remember the time you had blintzes in that cafe on 2nd Avenue

that makes you look frantically in the closet for the sundress you know you didn’t sell at Buffalo Exchange — you know it, you just know it, but where IS it — for a pair of people earrings that looked like the ones you got at Accessory Place with babysitting money

that makes you comb the recesses of your mind for the smell of your grandmother’s perfume

that makes you wish you didn’t throw away your walkman

or your diary from 5th grade the one with the pink plastic cover that you got for free with a magazine subscription that said

“I got my period today.”

Sometimes I do that to you.

I make you remember.

Is that enough to make my story matter?

Sometimes I write what comes to me and what comes to you is like what comes to me

and it makes you miss someone

or kiss someone

or call someone

or, better yet, write them a letter

or draw them a picture or make them a mixed tape.

Or send them back the mixed tape they made for you once.

Or twelve of them.

Does that make my story matter?


on Wednesdays

or Tuesdays

Depends —

I wonder why I write.

I wonder my story matters.

I wonder why it can’t just live inside me

just inside me

just there

for me.

What must I tell you?

Why must I make sense of it?

Why must I

make it beautiful

or agonizing

or wonderous?

Why must I?



17 thoughts on “Why does my story matter?”

  1. My husband and I had this exact conversation yesterday. Because he wonders why I have to share my stories with the world. I think because it touches people. Because people relate and feel better knowing someone else shares a thought or a feeling or has been through the same thing or is struggling with the same issues. And because it helps the writer too. I feel better writing my thoughts and discussing them with others, hearing that something I felt resonated with others. I’d rather have that than just write my thoughts down for me and move on.
    To you I would also say that when I see you’ve posted something, I smile. And then I click immediately. And I look forward to reading what you’ve written.


  2. I have these thoughts and worries a lot lately–especially after that New Yorker article came out the other day sort of mocking parenting essays. I write a variety of things, but parenting essays are among them (mostly for Brain, Child Mag). It made me want to crawl in a hole and just stop all of it. Do our stories matter? I think so. I hope so.


    1. Wow — that article must have hurt! But… I hardly read ANY parenting articles anymore (for the same snarky reasons in that article) but I love your articles. Not just saying that to feed your ego. I think it’s your style but also the content. Your “parenting” articles are for a more mature audience from a more mature parent. They speak to me. And they are personal. That have a Nina twist that I totally relate to.


    1. Interesting. I’m sitting with that a little and wondering what it might be like if by putting my stories out into the world I might be feeding not just my need for connection but someone else’s (accidentally on purpose.)


  3. Our stories help remind us–and figure out who we are. And they serve to bind us together…all of our stories tell is what it is to be human. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. I definitely agree. And on good days I allow that to propel me forward. On other days I wonder if all my stories haven’t already been told in exactly the same way I tell them. (I’m not fishing for compliments, honest!)


      1. Of course you aren’t fishing! I think we all wonder that…I do too!
        If you like to read, I have a couple of recommendations for you. “Kitchen Table Wisdom” and “My Grandfather’s Blessings” by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. They are all about the importance of sharing our stories and how much we can learn from each other.


  4. Maybe sometimes you just do it for your soul and nothing more. Sometimes I offer free yoga classes on the main grass in my small community. Some people question me. Why would I offer free classes? And, I think for the same reason. Sometimes, I just do it for my soul.


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