Tag Archives: storytelling

A Story Unsung: Getting Started

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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.  ~Maya Angelou

Yes, everyone has a story inside of them, especially women. Some stories are subtle, some are encouraging and empowering. Some explain and others teach. But all great stories have some level of conflict. You know when things didn’t work out exactly the way you originally planned. That’s usually your backstory.

So why would anyone really care about your story? Why does it matter?

While we all have our own stuff, it is never unique to just us. Our unique life experiences are what shape us into who we are in the moment, and there is always someone that can relate on some level.  More notably, Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and executive producer of How To Get Away With Murder, recently shared her story.  In Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Rhimes recounts her personal struggles with weight and moments of insecurity and fear. While her story offers perspective into who she is and what shapes her creative edge as a storyteller, it is also a relatable story with many layers that speak to all women.

So, yes, your story does matter, and you don’t have to be a prolific storyteller, TV show creator and executive producer like Shonda Rhimes to have merit. Hundreds of thousands of people successfully write and self-publish books, a few who come to mind are Shelley Hitz with Author Audience and Kristen Joy of The Book Ninja, both of whom I met at a marketing conference last year. Some people use editors, like me, to help relate their story of life, love, fear, loss, betrayal, opportunity and discovery.  I’m sure this sounds familiar?

The key for you, however, is recognizing the merits of your experiences so you can begin shaping your story. Here are a few ideas that can help you get started:

  • Journal writing. You may not be quite ready to share your story with the world.  However, journaling providefemale-865110_1280s a more intimate and private option for expressing emotions and experiences. This can often be therapeutic and help to shape ideas for self-analysis and self-discovery.
  • Freewriting. You have to begin somewhere so just begin documenting your story in your own words. Grammar and spelling is not important. Just begin writing whatever thoughts/ideas emerge. Generally, freewriting involves a set time to write continuously without interruption.  Through this process, an unintended story may emerge that may have more impact than your original writing goals.
  • Outlining. If you require a little more structure, an outline will help to organize the flow of your writing, especially if you already know the story you want to tell.

So counting on you to get started with your story. Happy writing and let me know if you get stuck writing and need some help @divaninawrites or email me at divaninawrites@gmail.com.

Love and Peace Always….Ann

Did You Know That Your Story Matters?

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For entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their professional network, visibility and influence, it is important to consider how you want to project your image and company brand as an expert or niche specialist.  You have probably heard or read repeatedly about creating your elevator pitch, networking, getting a mentor, doing local speaking gigs and putting yourself out there as an expert.  These are all great suggestions and ones that really should be followed.  However, taking the initiative to accomplish these things does not always come naturally.  So where do you really start?

Start with making sure you are relatable. Why?  Because people make connections with people, not obscure objects and things.  When you think of someone who inspires you, it was probably because you connected with them on some level.  And one way you probably connected was through a story that showed humanness, shared a similar experience, or piqued an emotion of empathy.   Have you ever had an experience where you did not quite care for someone but then you learned of a story in which they overcame some adversity, and then you saw the person in a different light and they actually became tolerable or you began to like them?  For me, I like to hear people’s stories.  I like to know what motivates, inspires and encourages them towards success because those stories serve as motivation for me to stay the course and never give up.

The good thing about considering this type of strategy is that we all have a story or aspects of a personal story that can be appropriately shared in a professional manner without over sharing.  Doing so with sincerity can help to build your influence while promoting and growing your business and personal and professional brands.  To provide some context for my point, consider reading this article by Rebecca Goldsmith of C-Level Stories who provides a six-step do-it-yourself process for preparing to share your story.

Remember, you are your first best brand ambassador.  No one can market you better than you can.  Get comfortable with your story of courage, conviction, hustle or failure.  It will be the the little things in your story that show character and humility and that will draw people closer to you.