As humans, we are addicted to stories. We spend our days telling our own and hearing the stories of others. We then go to sleep at night and our imagination continues to tell story after story. The magic never stops. However, are you listening to that magic or pushing it aside? This being said, in a world where we crave stories, how are you telling yours?
I want you to think about this: Your life, your story. As much as you may not think so, that statement is powerful. We live in a society where we are constantly judging ourselves, thinking we aren’t worthy and that our stories aren’t significant—fact or fiction. These are the lies we tell ourselves daily. The most painful, to me, is the one where you think your story isn’t significant.
It’s time to take a second and dive into the power of storytelling. The power of your specific story. What sharing it can do for your soul and the souls of others. It’s time for you to lean into the story that you write daily. The one in which you are constantly writing sentences, pages, and chapters that come straight from the minutes, days, and years of your life. Your reality is the greatest story of all time and like some, myself included, this can turn into a book that impacts on another level. You just need to believe it can.
Let me take you somewhere. Use your imagination now, it’ll be fun. There is this book on the market you have been wanting to read for quite some time. You finally finished the books you have at home so you’re ready to buy a new one. Excitement instantly runs over you. You get in the car and drive yourself to the bookstore to buy this book you’ve been dying to stick your nose in. As soon as you get home you’re stuck in the book, turning the pages like wildfire. Until suddenly, a chapter is missing, completely gone from the book.
Flustered, you start paging through the rest of the book realizing that some pages are ripped out, sentences are crossed off and another chapter is completely missing. Now, you’re upset because you’ve been dying to read this story for a while so the disappointment really starts to set in. You became invested in this book and now you have no idea what’s to come. Not to mention, you’re a starving author who just spent money on this book that you now can’t take back and you don’t even know the plot or the twist for that matter.
Now, think about your life story. Do you have pages or chapters or even sentences you wish you could rip out? Words that seem too raw to share with the world. Moments in your life that feel too much to share at all. My guess is yes, because for a very long time I felt the same way. I felt that my story was insignificant and wasn’t worthy of the world. I felt that my story shouldn’t be shared because it was too personal and who really cares about my dad passing away, the heartbreak I felt from being dumped, living in a van full time, and talking about living the dream.
Truth is, all of my chapters, just like yours—even the really hard ones to live through—deserve a chance to be heard.
Because there are 7.53 billion people in this world waiting to connect with another human just like you. Waiting to feel like they are more understood and not alone.
So just like you were upset because that book you just bought with your own money had missing sentences, pages and chapters … you should be upset with yourself for not wanting to share pieces of you with the people that need it. The people that want to hear your story and are already invested.
Whether you are writing a fiction or nonfiction book it’s time to really think about that story. Why you want to tell it and how you’re telling it. Our personal stories are directly connected to the ones we tell ourselves and the ones we share - written and spoken. Be honest with yourself and find grace in your ability to share every little detail.
4 Ways that Storytelling Brings People Together
1. Stories show people that you aren't perfect.
They show authenticity and in a world where everyone is trying to perfect, it’s nice to hear people share their unfiltered, messy, and perfectly imperfect selves.
2. Stories create human connection.
Everything in life is situational but I can promise you that there will be one thing from your story, most likely the thing that you feel is least impactful, that will change someone's life because it is something they need to hear. That they need to show up for in their life.
3. Stories are captivating.
Stories draw people in and make people feel less alone. They have the power to give people chills, make them cry, laugh, get angry, and become invested. Stories are a form of therapy and a safe haven.
4. Stories give you perspective.
Hearing about someone else’s story gives you perspective on your own life. Stories are a place people can get lost and find comfort.
Whether you are sharing your personal story in a memoir, or having trouble diving into the fictional characters you're writing about—you have a story to tell and the power of that alone is unlike anything else.
Always remember you have the power to write your own epic life story. One in real life, and one that will grace the pages of your book. Just pick up the pen and start writing, start sharing.