With a little bit of practice, anyone can be a storyteller. Think of the tales you weave with your friends, telling them about the fun party you went to or that time in high school when your cousin accidentally set fire to your porch. Humans are naturally inclined toward storytelling, and there are few things we love better than hearing a great one.
If you’re ready to try your hand at storytelling but not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to you from which you can pull some tips and ideas. To overcome the infamous writer’s block, oftentimes, you need to look no further than your daily life. Spending a little time thinking about your life experiences can give you essential insights into the valuable lessons you have learned. Even if it seemed relatively mundane at the time, odds are that some compelling stories have influenced the way you look at the world. These stories are ripe to be shared, and you can bet that there are people out there eager to absorb your lessons and wisdom.
For even more story ideas, turn from looking at the outside world around you and try looking inside. For example, ask yourself:
- What are my greatest passions?
- What am I most knowledgeable about? Am I better at solving problems with numbers or critical thinking?
- What’s that secret talent I have that only those closest to me know about?
- When I find myself reading through articles online, what subject do I usually find myself drawn to?
Writing content based on your interests not only makes the task more enjoyable to you, but the end result will be more entertaining and relatable to readers because they’re learning something new about you and the world. Think of something that only you know about or a subject you have a unique perspective on due to your personal experiences.
Once you’ve decided what you want to write about, take the broad subject and zoom in to begin fleshing out the article with details. To guide your thoughts, use the following outline:
- Identify a time of excitement, stress, or passion.
- Describe what happened.
- Write out how you navigated it and either survived the experience or thrived in it.
- Form a summary maxim or law from your experience.
Without a doubt, storytelling in the modern world has changed. With the endless parade of content on the internet, people’s attention spans are shortening. Technology has continued to evolve simultaneously; a video that used to take three minutes to load from a dial-up connection is now ready to watch in milliseconds. Platforms like TikTok reward content creators who can tell a good story in less than three minutes, and people glean most of their news from headlines.
Long-form content may continue to have a role in this new world of storytelling. Still, the future will reward those communicators who can convey valuable life lessons quickly and concisely. Furthermore, people are hungry for news and information straight from the experts living the news instead of the four or five filters typical of the legacy media.
Don’t wait to be left behind – now is the time to share your story and establish your expertise. The first-person source of a story is the person who lived and breathed it, not the journalist who bet against the internet back in the day. Just like the VHS tape, those journalists are obsolete, and they’ll either adapt to the new mode of storytelling or fade away. Thought leaders are taking their place as the storytellers of the future. All that’s left is for you to step forward and take yours.