Let me get on my soapbox…
Stories are how you connect to your reader. They’re how she knows, in her soul, in her bones, in her heart, that YOU, the author, Get Her. Understand her journey, her pain, her hopes for the future.
If you’re not using stories in you’re writing, you just can’t create that connection.
Let me illustrate:
Any author will tell you that there are moments where the writing gets tough and they want to give up. But they persevere because they can see the end goal: being seen as a credible expert; helping their reader to have a life-changing, life-affirming change; fulfilling a dream of writing a book.
It is in those moments of darkness, the author must dig deep into their wells of productivity, hard-work, and resilience to keep writing. Someday, they’ll look back with satisfaction for a book well-written.
I WROTE that and it was boring. As soon as I wrote it, I wasn’t 100% sure what I said…
It didn’t sound like me. Those two paragraphs aren’t warm, inviting, caring. They don’t show, at all, my heart – and how I care about YOUR heart and the heart of the reader.
And I can almost guarantee that by now, in this moment of reading this article, you don’t exactly remember what I said, in all that pretentious glory.
(Right? You just scanned up to re-read those two paragraphs, didn’t you?!)
Now, try on the following story, first written back in June 2015
(Dude! FOUR years ago!)
Two weeks ago Ben and I went on a 5-day backpacking trip. You know the drill: load everything into a 35 pound backpack, walk for miles into the back-country, camp, repeat the next day.
I realize that for some (a lot?) of you, that sounds like a mini version of hell. For me, it’s peace, tranquility, freedom. There’s that moment when my body says, “Ahhhh” to the weight of the pack. (By now, that’s usually the second I put it on!) And that second moment where my legs feel like they’re unattached, swinging loose from my hips, like walking is the natural state of being.
Not following me? Think of that moment where you’re doing something you love and suddenly every fiber in your being says, “Yes! I LOVE this! Yes!”
Now about this trip…
It was unlike anything we’d ever done before. It wasn’t a backpacking trip, but a canyoneering trip. I hate giving a rote definition but here’s a great explanation:
Canyoning (known as canyoneering in the U.S.) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.
And this trip had everything except rope-work. Keep Reading!