As a young journalist in the late 1970s if I was sent out on a story, coming back with nothing was unforgivable. Newsrooms were tough environments in those days, and coming back empty handed from an assignment was a terrifying thought as editors would tear a strip off you.
I developed a powerful muscle to believe there was always a story to be found.
Mark Twain once wrote: “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”
Social media has taken us to a new crossroads. There are now compelling opportunities to share our own and other stories where and when we like.
We no longer have to rely on traditional media like the news, the movies and TV to be the sole creators and distributors of stories.
In life, and in business, we are now all story creators, it is not just the business of the marketing or PR department, or clever actors and writers.
But let’s be honest, storytelling comes easier to some than to others. However, great stories and storytellers are now just about the gregarious, charismatic loud people. Often it is the quiet ones that have the most powerful stories to tell and then can come in a few stuttered words, and a few images a few actions that touch hearts and minds.
It is all about finding our natural storytelling mode. It might be holding up cards with text in front of a camera, it might be speaking, it might be mime, who knows.
The point is to start exploring your storytelling mode. We all have one.
Here are three key tips to get the ball rolling.
1. Record your observations; with a pen, with a mic, or with a doodle. But stop, look, listen, and record, even if it is simply watching the traffic pass on a street.
2. Explore your storytelling modes. If you are confronted by a blank page, use another medium, or ask someone to interview you.
3. Share your story. Speak it out. To a friend, to someone online, to the dog, to the wall, but get it out.
“ There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. “