Stories are Excuses

An excerpt from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s philosophical notebook (ctrl+f 111 for full quote):

People think that I wrote TBS to communicate my ideas about human errors, epistemic arrogance, complexity, and high-impact uncertainty. The fools. I wrote a book to talk about Yevgenia, Lebanon, Casanova…. And I used that Black Swan idea as an excuse. Any other topic would have bored me. Had I written a book about the black swan idea almost nobody would have read it.

Fiction is the act of communicating ideas through a story. Non-fiction is the act of a story — the incomplete narrative we think of as a complete person — communicating ideas.

Either way, you can’t communicate ideas without a story.

Check it — people are self-interested. They will either respond to your story because it’s entertaining (made so by hallmarks of storytelling such as the three-act structure, conflict, etc.), OR because there is a compelling story behind you.

Unless there is a story involved, no one gives a shit, and no one will read anything you write.

I expect VERY FEW, if any, people to take my advice on writing as of this posting. I have no delusions about that. So why post? Part of the story friends — connect the dots.

If you want to be a writer,  master the craft of storytelling. You need an excuse to say what you really want to say.


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