Everyone talks about storytelling but what is the definition exactly?
According to Oxford Languages, storytelling is the activity of telling or writing stories. In other words, storytelling is the way a story is shared, whether it is by writing, orally or using images.
Storytelling has multiple forms: oral, written, visual.
Storytelling is the way we define our history, our humanity, our future.
But mastering it is hard. Sometimes you don’t know how or where to start.
Or even how to finish.
You can use storytelling everywhere: in your videos that you post on social media, in your press releases, in your personal statements, to adversise your business, etc.
To write a novel you need to start with the first sentence. To write a song you need to start with the first chord. Break your story in chunks. What do you want to start with? It doesn’t have to be the beginning.
Start your story by telling your audience what your character does in the morning. Or by explaining what your day to day life is. Or by writing three lines explaining why your business was born.
There are many benefits to starting small: you feel less overwhelmed, you can expand more. And the more you expand, the more your story takes shape.When you start small, you spend less time on the story but also less mental anguish if it’s not going the way you want. That way you can allocate more time for activities that might actually inspire your story.
One way to start small is spending 5 minutes every day telling your story. You can use whichever medium you want. But just 5 minutes will be enough. I have developed a new method to teach you how to write 5 minutes every day.
Have a vision
What is it that you want to tell? What is the main message to take away from it? When you close your eyes, what do you see?
Many people all over the world walk around with plenty of stories to tell. Some of these stories are much better than yours. Why does yours have to be told? Has it been told before? How is yours going to be different?
You have to have a vision of the story you want to tell. Your vision should incorporate why you want to tell it and what kind of story you want to tell. A vision is how you want to tell your story and how it’s going to loo.To know what kind of vision you have, take some time by yourself, close your eyes and dive deep into your story.
Have a vision of the beginning, the middle and the end of your story. Even if it’s just an image of a character doing something or being in a specific space. If you struggle with the middle, focus on having one strong image of the beginning of your story and the same for the end of your story.
Go for a walk
Going out when your mind is going all over the place will give you a different perspective.It helps you rekindle with the world, get inspiration outside, think about something else. It reminds you of what the outside world is like and grounds you by helping you being in tune with your surrounding.
When you are spending too much time inside your head, your vision and perspective on the story you want to tell might change. You might feel stuck or not able to start. Or you might finish the story but it still needs editing.
Exercise helps to relieve stress and is relaxing. Walking around your neighborhood, your city is a wonderful way to rediscover your surroundings, to see in a different light and discover new places.And sometimes, it also helps finding inspiration or simply taking a pause.
Remember, telling stories is important. But you need to take time to also do other things that might inform your storytelling later. Go out. Enjoy your life. Then come back.
There are no perfect words so start with one
No words are ever good enough for you. You sit down and procrastinate. You rack your brain for months, years. You don’t know how to find the word that will encompass your story. You look for that magical word online, you ask your friends, your family, your partner. They give you many words but none of them truly fit. They are simply not good enough.
it doesn’t exist. Your story will never be as beautiful as the one in your head. The story in your head is magical, complex, has been reworked many times before; it’s a comfy safety net. But it’s not a story you have told others yet. It’s not a story that is out in the world.
Telling stories means telling them multiple times and editing them all the time, until you reach a point where the story is as good as it gets. Similarly, writing is often, more about editing than having a perfect first draft. There are no words in any language that will capture perfectly what is in your mind.
So start with one. And then edit it.
Get an accountability buddy
Have a friend that also want to tell stories? Or write?
Go on Reddit, Twitter, or other social media to find like-minded individuals. There are many groups for budding writers or people interesting in storytelling. Interact with people and pick the one that has similar interests and tastes. Ask them to buddy up to write stories and check on each other every month (or even every week) to see how much progress has been made.
The accountability buddy is someone you’ll have to be accountable for in terms of your writing progress. Pick someone that has the same writing abilities and goals as your and who is passionate about good stories, or at least helping you. Studies show that when you have to report to other people, it forces you to work more because it makes you accountable.
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