I don’t know if you’ve come across the idea of Homo Narrans before, but it’s right up this alley. Humans are story telling animals. It’s as essential to our nature as politics or kinship, and maybe more so, since we often regulate our relationships through stories about our communities and history.
My favorite linguistics theory is that human beings are unique in the animal kingdom for losing touch with nature. Most animals have heavy doses of instinctual drive, but at some point, we lost that and language was the tool that we discovered to negotiate action instead.
By telling stories about ourselves, we invented culture and history. We defined entire nations and cultural groups. And on any given day, we each look in the mirror and see a character we’ve accepted to see.
If you’re not an active participant in creating your own story, it’ll still be written. It’ll just be written without your input.
Grant Morrison’s experience while writing The Invisibles and literally becoming one of the characters is a great exmaple of how taking charge of the story can change your life.