6 Ways To Be A Better Storyteller
I truly believe that we are all meant to be storytellers. We all have stories within us that are waiting to get out into the world. To be seen, heard, validated, and loved. To know that our stories matter, and they do.
Your story matters. So, so much.
It’s so easier nowadays to get your story out there, even if you’re not a good writer or speaker. Maybe you express yourself through painting or pottery. Or maybe writing is your thing, so you write to your community through blog posts, Instagram captions, and love letters straight to their inbox.
The possibilities are endless, and there are so many people waiting for you to show up in the world.
At the same time, the world can often feel like a noisy place with lots of people wanting your attention without wanting to give back anything in return.
If you've been following me for a way, you know vulnerability is my jam and keeping it real is my butter. And if you know me in real life, you'd know it's not my jam and butter at all (I don't like talking about my emotions and feelings in real life, but I can write a novel in my Instagram captions and newsletters all day and night - working on it).
Anyway, the point is I've written posts before that were paragraphs (many, many paragraphs) long, basically almost a novel, and I sat there wondering if this was something I wanted to hit "publish" on. If anyone could actually resonate with my words, or if I was off in some other world on my own. What I've learned is that there is always someone out there who can relate to your story, who needs to hear those words in that moment.
The world needs your voice. It needs you.
For a long time, I struggled to believe this myself. I thought, "Well, there are already so many voices out there. Who wants to listen to mine? Do I even want to listen to mine?"
And while I may not be the best writer in the world, I've had enough people say that my words resonated with them or that they liked my writing enough times for me to believe them. Sometimes, I write for myself, But other times? I write for others. Because I know what it's like to not believe in yourself, to doubt yourself, to stop your creative work and regret it later.
I don't want you to stop as many times as I did.
Imagine if you just kept going without stopping every time things got hard. Even if you were horrible in the beginning. Even if you were horrible in the middle of it. Because if you stick with it, you will get better at your craft. In some cases, I believe going the wrong direction is better than not going in any direction at all, because at least you're taking action - and somewhere along the way, you'll change lanes or make a u-turn somewhere because you realized the path you were on was no longer the one you wanted to continue driving on.
So stop being afraid and start showing up. Share your story, because the world needs to hear it.
here are 6 tips to help you stand out from the online noise and clutter:
1. use your own voice and be yourself.
As cliche as it sounds, you have to be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
Because as easy as it is to take other people’s words and put it in nice little quote cards, those words aren’t coming from you. They don’t showcase your personality or your voice. I’m not saying we can’t use their quotes ever (because I totally do), but when it’s 95% of your content, it doesn’t really show us who you are and what makes you, you.
2. Be honest even if it scares you.
Sharing your fears, emotions, and what happens in your everyday life can be scary. And for good reason. It’s so much easier to talk about the surface level stuff and/or only the good things that happen. We’ve all dealt with really judgmental people in our life. If we’re being honest with ourselves, sometimes we’re our worst (and most scary) critic. We can often beat ourselves up for the smallest things.
It takes courage to talk about the things that people don’t normally talk about. I mean - it’s easier to talk about television shows, how you got crazy drunk, your work and coworkers, etc. But to dig deeper than that and to talk about the things that are below the surface level? Well, that takes courage and it’s going to help you become such a good storyteller. Take Glennon Doyle Melton and her most recent book Love Warrior for example. If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend giving it a read. It made me cry, multiple times.
3. Don’t wait until it’s ready and perfect.
We’re complex human beings, and we get it. We get that life is messy. We get that you aren’t perfect, because we’re not perfect either. We love it when we feel like we know someone like really, really know them. When they put down their walls and show us who they truly are. Don’t keep waiting until you’re ready or until things are perfect, because that moment may never come and the world’s going to miss out big time.
4. Create and embrace your own style.
Have you noticed how some people post one-liners for their captions while others post entire paragraphs? I’m one of those people who post entire paragraphs, and that’s just my style. I don’t try to appeal to everyone anymore, because like Danielle LaPorte, I want to speak to the choir. People who understand me and appreciate my style. Because the truth is, not everyone is going to love you. You could be perfect (whatever that looks like) and there still might be people who don’t like you.
So why spend all my time and energy on people who may never like me? Why not focus my time, energy, and love on the people who are already cheering me on? We spend so much of our time focused on those who don’t like us, and we forget to notice and neglect the ones that do.
What matters in the end is that you like yourself. Your people will find you if you keep showing up - they always do.
5. Remember that they’re part of your story too.
Your tribe? The people who show up for you? Don’t forget about them. Remember to give back and say thank you. Make sure they feel heard and appreciated, and be genuine about it. Ask how you can help them and listen. Really, really listen. Listening is one of the best life skills you can have. Listening to your tribe goes a long way, and it makes them feel heard and seen. Let them know there’s a space for them in your community. Think about how you would want to be treated, and do that for other people.
6. Consistency, consistency, consistency. (in other words: show up to your own party.)
If I could only share one piece of advice with you, it’s this: Be consistent, because it matters. Who would you rather keep up with? Someone who showed up every few months or someone who showed up every day? And I’m sharing this with you, because I’ve been so inconsistent so many times in my life and while people are super understanding about it, I would be further along in my journey and would be able to make a bigger impact if I were more consistent and stopped giving up every 4 months. #realtalk When the tough times comes, that’s when you gotta toughen up and show up. That’s when it matters, because if you can get through the really tough times, you can get through anything.
The world needs more storytellers like you.
I know it seems like everyone has an Instagram account nowadays and that may very well be the case, but there is always more room at the table. But it’s up to you to show up to the party. If you don’t, how are people going to know about you? How are they going to make room for you? How are they going to tell their friends about you?
And trust me, there’s always more room for you.
The world needs to hear your story in your own voice and style.
Interested in sharing your story with the Wholehearted Woman community? Shoot me an e-mail me at molly@wholeheartedwoman, and let’s get something set up!