Compelling stories start from words


Photo by Matthew Henry on Burst

Everyone has a story to share. Want to share yours?

Maya Adimora, Co-Editor-in-Chief / Beyond the Gates editor

Words matter, seriously! No matter how cautious you are with your words, you will eventually slip up and say something harmful to others. That is why National Words Matter Week (celebrated in the first full week of March) is celebrated. It is important to remind ourselves and others that words have an impact, and everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

But, in a more literary sense, the 26 letters of the English alphabet can be mixed and mashed into an infinite number of combinations, which become building blocks to creating a story. Although the first written/printed book is a contentious topic, humans have physically recorded information for thousands of years. We have basically been retelling the same tales for centuries! But, that doesn’t mean you have to consume written works the same way the ancients did.

The beauty of the internet is that we can read in an inexpensive and easily accessible way. According to National Today, “During Read an eBook Week [in the first full week of March], authors and book retailers have the chance to publicize their books, attracting thousands of readers by offering considerable discounts, while some even offer their books up for free. Readers can then easily access and enjoy these books from the comfort of their portable devices.”

However, reading and writing aren’t mutually exclusive actions. You need to be able to read in order to write, and you have to read others’ writing to become a great writer. Even if you lead a boring life, there is always something worth sharing to the world. Artist, guide, and author Mitzy created National Write Your Story Day (March 14) because he wanted to encourage people to put pencil to paper or fingers to a keyboard and share a personal story. If it’s well-written enough, you may be able to enter contests with the piece or submit it for publication.

On a larger scale, World Storytelling Day celebrates the persistence of storytelling through oral form on March 20. It proves that not every story has to be written down to be worthy of sharing. Simply recounting an experience to someone on this day is enough to celebrate. All stories, large and small, have an impact. “The theme of World Storytelling Day 2023 is “Together We Can.” Considering worldwide events, storytellers felt the need in society to come together and move forward together. Building community, inspiring change” (International Storyteller).