Brandon Stanton, a New York photographer, pursued a small project to capture the people of New York. As he worked on this project, he started to learn more about each individual’s story. He would discover stories about a daughter’s relationship with her father, an elderly woman who has lost her husband, or a child’s struggle in obtaining an education. His project attracted billions of followers, leading him to create his book, Humans of New York. Storytellers, like Stanton, remind us that everyone has their own stories. This includes a next-door neighbor, a stranger at the bus stop, and, of course, you.
Sunday, March 14 marks the day as National Write Your Story Day, providing you the opportunity to write down your own story. You might think, “My life isn’t that interesting to be a story,” but that is never the case. If you are an aspiring storyteller or an inexperienced writer, try out these four tips to help discover your story.
Tip #1: Find What Inspires You
Sometimes a blank page intimidates us as though it is expecting great ideas. However, inspiration encourages us to write and work around this fear. You could create a Pinterest board that relates to your life or look at old photographs from that moment. Even changing mediums from typing on a keyboard to writing with a pen can help spark a new perspective. Once you find your momentum, your story will be flowing in no time. Let your creative drive lead to your story!
Tip #2: Pick a Moment that Impacted You
To begin brainstorming, creating a list of life events can visually help you with how to begin and end your story. These moments can be anything that derives from your inspirations, your fears, or your passions. After creating your list, look through each moment and circle events that stand out to you. This process may take a while, but surely, you will find a moment that sparks your interest to begin writing.
Tip #3: Use All Your Senses
To capture the moment, descriptions bring readers into the story. Sometimes, we focus on what we see when describing scenes, but to really depict the moment, try to use all your senses to explain it. Do you smell wet grass from a trip that you had with your family? What did your favorite childhood dish taste like? When you think about your scene from different perspectives, your readers, the public or close friends, can experience that moment, too.
Tip #4: Have fun!
This observance gives us the chance to reflect on our journey. Enjoy and feel great about how much you have grown and how far you’ve come. Be encouraged to share it with those closest to you or post your story online through blogs, videos, or podcasts. When it comes to telling your story, there are no wrong nor right ways to completing it—this is your story after all.
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