As early as so could remember I have always wanted to tell a story. My dad told me that’s because I am more Irish than I am Mexican. So with my dad being a good drawer, I wanted to mimic him and tell stories through pencil and paper—drawing out massive battles between Yankees and confederates, John Wayne and the U.S. Cavalry versus the fierce Apache warriors, or cars. I sucked at it and I still do...
I remember those awful drawings. My mom would scotch tape them on to our refrigerator door—oh God they were awful. I can see her face now trying to look thrilled that she had an artist like her in the house. Then my sister would chime in laughing at me and I would draw pictures of John Wayne taking her away to the jailhouse... It was around this time I discovered that I can draw pictures better with words.
Everyone has a story and our stories all have something in common—we all start from nothing.
People want to hear stories. They want to hear our stories—they want to know where we are from, what we are doing, who we love, and where we are going. Mostly though they want us to hear their story. The problem is most of us won't share our stories until they become perfect.
Here is a secret: Don't spend life striving for perfection—perfection is ellusive and not real. Just try your best and not worry about perfection.
We all know we are imperfect beings, and we find unity and hope in one another's imperfections. Even though most of our social media posts are stories or photos that show the better side of our lives—yet thousands of people like and share posts that speak of human tragedy and imperfections.
I write this not to discourage you, but to inspire you. To inspire you to know your story and share it with others. You need to share your story because it will bring hope to people who are hopeless. I am not lying—your story will give people a reason to keep going! That's really why I like to write. I like to help people know there is hope and hope has a heartbeat.
I'm relatively new to writing—I have been only writing for about ten years—inconsistent years at that. But I have been putting into practice a few things I learned from my days as a professional communicator to help me write my story better. I know there are more tools out there, but these are just a couple of the tools I am using—and I’d like to share them with you.
Here is a couple of tools to help you write your story better:
Write Every day.
- Make It a goal to write something every day. Author, Stephen King says to write eight hours every day. I wish I could do that, but I don't have any bestsellers or finished books and have to make money another way—so my goal is to write between 800 to 1000 words a day—I count the words I write for both my book and blog posts. The goal is to just write.
Write To Engage Peoples Hearts.
- Speak from the heart—be authentic and write with vulnerability.
- Illuminate the 'hope' in your story.
- Point to something greater and something better—for me I'm always trying to point to Jesus.
- Love the folks you are writing to.
- Have fun.
The more people recognize themselves in your writing—the less they’ll feel alone. Form and structure are important, and they help us know how to write a story—but the real art of telling a good story lies in the ability to remain human and to connect with the human heart.
Start today by writing two sentences about where you are from, and then tomorrow write two more about what you are doing...
Keep Writing Your Story,