How We Tell a Story – Day 9

OK, time to write a blog post. How’re you gonna start it? Make sure you get that hook in there, something to catch their eye and keep them reading.

What’s the right way to tell a story? Is there a right way to tell a story?

Oh, geez, we’re starting with rhetorical questions today. That’s OK, that’s OK, if you can connect it into something relatable you’ll probably be able to keep a fair amount of people reading.

There are certainly better or worse ways to tell a story. Think about the people you know who go on seemingly without an end in sight, or who tell a story that doesn’t seem to be connected to anything outside or inside of the story.

Good, good, people know people who tell stories, but don’t forget that you’re trying to get to your main point. Don’t dawdle too long on this stuff. And don’t check the word count already, you know you’re less than a paragraph in.

In many ways, I feel like these blog posts are like little stories…

OK, a little obscure, but you might be able to get away with it if you finish the sentence well.

…and I feel like there are a lot of rules that I’m trying to follow as I’m writing.

Yeah, that’ll probably be fine to. A bit of a choppy transition from relatable to the point, but at least you’re on track to get to the body.

Rules about how to keep people engaged, rules about get my thoughts in order and present them on a page, rules that I feel I need to follow even though this is my story.

Good, people like lists in threes. Maybe come back here if you need to just to be sure this list doesn’t need to be stronger.

I realize that we do this all the time (or, at least, I do this all the time): we try telling a story in such a way that people will listen to what we have to say. We try to put it in some sort of order, and tend to continue editing how we tell it if we tell it more than once.

Nice job, we’re keeping things relatable and connecting yourself to the audience experience. Just remember to keep it fairly general to appeal to more people; they don’t really need to hear too much about you with this.

I…

NO, I SAID KEEP IT GENERAL!!! GET OFF OF YOU!!! TALK ABOUT LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE!!!

…have found it difficult to figure out how best to approach some of the blogs.

OK, we’re not listening. Fantastic. Just another blog about yourself.

I keep getting stuck in between what I want to write about, how I want to write it, and how to fit it into a certain format that I learned in school.

At least blogs do have a tendency of being a little more self-centered than other media.

One issue that I’ve found during this project…

And we’re talking about the project again. It’s been nine days, dude. Speaking of, did you have some numbers up there below ten that weren’t spelled out, or was that from a different post?

…is the difficulty in keeping to the word count that I set for myself.

Oh, this is riveting.

I think it’s beneficial and has helped me not only find more to say, but made me dive deeper into each topic to see what there is to say. However, it’s still difficult to get to that point each day.

Want to talk about difficult? Getting through this post. Is this really going to be interesting for people? Difficult…if this is the most difficult thing for you today, I think you’re doing just fine.

Another difficulty I have is in trying to determine what will be interesting for people to read, and whether I have anything interesting to say about topics I’m not even sure people are interested in. How do I even figure out what to say when I’m writing and posting on the same day?

You finished that thought with a question? What is it with you and questions? People want to see answers, and they certainly don’t want to see you every time you write talking about trying to figure out what they want to see.

But I think maybe the hardest thing about these posts is the voice in my head that I always seem to be at war with, determining whether something is good or correct or worth being posted.

Wait, are you bashing me now? This should be good. You started that sentence with a conjunction, by the way.

I probably sit at a computer and run through at least five different ways to start a post, after spending hours trying to decide what to write about in the first place. Are there topics that could be combined? Do you even have anything to say, and why does what you say matter? How can you make this good? Do you even know what good means? How many people read yesterday’s post? I don’t know how other writers feel, but I often find a sense of self-doubt related to this whole process. I also spend a lot of time writing in my head rather than on paper, and somehow writing down these more personal thoughts seems unimportant.

OK we’re taking on water here. Man the lifeboats! Let’s get out of here.

But what is it that prompts and prompted so many people to read other people’s journals?

…wait, what?

Is this just that same process? These are things that I could have written for someone to steal a glance at, but instead I’m voluntarily releasing them into the world? I don’t know how interesting that is for people to read, but if it keeps me writing, I guess I’ll see what happens.

And more questions. Man, at least you got through this one. Maybe fewer questions and less time talking about what’s interesting or not tomorrow, OK? And maybe stick to your original thought next time?

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