Are you a writer? Do you write?

by | Nov 3, 2021

We’re all storytellers. Stories give color, meaning and occasionally sense to our lives.

Do you do some kind of writing or other creative work as part of your job? Emails? Blogs? Presentations? Reports? Strategy development? Reviews?

Do you consider yourself to be a writer? (If you say no, remember that you just told me you write and you create).

The truth is, we may not all be “writers” in the traditional sense, but we are all certainly storytellers.

You have a story to tell about your company or product or service if you’re in sales or management. You have a story to tell about your family and children if you’re a parent. If you’re a teacher, you tell stories to teach in a way your students will remember.

We’re all storytellers. Stories give color, meaning and occasionally sense to our lives.

Several years ago I was creative director for a marketing agency that helped non-profits tell their stories. The thing about most non-profits is that they don’t always tell their story well, but they do gush on about it with lots of passion and enthusiasm. And that usually makes a good story, a heart-to-heart passions-shared type of connection that lasts, and inspires action.

That connection has to happen in any business, or other life transaction. To make a sale, get a donor, or write almost anything worthwhile – you’ve got to make a personal connection. That’s often done by telling a story. Think back about the stories you’ve heard in your life. That’s why we remember Lisa Beamer (author of Let’s Roll). She was widowed the day her husband became a hero, leading fellow passengers on flight 93 to overcome their hijackers on 9/11, causing a crash into a field in Pennsylvania instead of the the Capital Building or White House.

It’s one of the reasons we remember Martin Luther King (“I have a dream…”) so many years after his tragic assassination, and why we remember that Dave Thomas was adopted as a child, and grew up to have a daughter named Wendy, who (apparently) loved hamburgers.

We know their stories. These people, and many more like them, didn’t start out famous, or necessarily aspire to be. But they had a story that captured us, and were generous enough to share it. We all have stories to tell. And while you may not be a professional writer or think you’re such a great storyteller, you’ll find that a story told with heart and passion is a good story. The mechanics of grammar, sentence structure and so forth can come later. That’s editing, not storytelling. Trust me when I assure you that storytelling is where all the power is.

See if re-framing your stalled writing projects as stories that need telling relieves some of the intimidation of the blank page (or screen) for you.
And keep writing.