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 provides 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love and Peace Always….Ann