So here's my theory:
EVERYONE has a need for stories.
I work at an elementary school, and a particular group of sixth graders from three years ago were especially memorable.
One group of girls, determined to kill off a section of grass by year's end, sat in a circle in the exact same spot each recess and chatted. Every so often, I'd wander near and eavesdrop. I'd catch things like "You are NOT going to believe what he did!" and "Are you serious? That's CRAZY! So what did you do?"
A second group of kids always played a game that seemed equal parts Dungeons & Dragons, and every fantasy book they'd ever read. They would decide what kind of character they were going to play, what special abilities they'd have, what the epic good-versus-evil fight would be, and then they'd act it all out.
One group traipsed to the ends of the playgrounds and fields and back, while the other sat unmoving. They both did the exact same thing, though. They created stories.
At a writers' conference a couple years ago, Tracy Hickman talked about this same thing. About how, when we see something with an incomplete story, we fill in the gaps. And it's true! If we walk into our favorite grocery store and see someone sitting on the sidewalk with their back against the building, face tear-stained, clothes nice but mud-crusted and torn, our minds start forming a story as to what happened.
(Right? Did you start making up what had happened to this person?)(And if you thought of something interesting, I want to hear about it in the comments!)
Tracy Hickman even took it one step further. He asked us to imagine a world where there were no stories. [Pause... pause...] Then he said, "In your head, you just started writing the story of the place with no stories, didn't you?"
Think of the story you thought of with the person at the grocery store. And about the world with no stories. Those girls killing the grass weren't talking about the square root of pi. And the D&D kids weren't talking about elves skipping through the forest. So the REAL theory is:
Everyone has a need for DRAMATIC stories.
Some people definitely have a greater need than others. (Writers probably have the greatest need of all!) But we don't want those stories to be things we experience all the time. We want stories outside our range of normal. We want them to be the things we either don't experience often, or the things we'd never experience on our own.
People NEED stories. So how freaking cool is it to be a writer?