I used to call myself the reluctant blogger. When the term blog was coined, I dismissed it as frivolous. I studied journalism in college before Al Gore invented the internet, at a time when stories were called articles and were written on electric typewriters (look it up). When blogs came along, it seemed that everyone and their brother had one, and it sort of ruffled my feathers that anyone could call themselves a writer.
Yes, I was a real snob.
Story is everything! Begin your blog, article, newsletter, whatever you’re writing, with a personal story. Watch this short video to find out why.
It was a summer day in 1977; I was watching “Days of Our Lives” with my mom while she folded laundry. The announcer broke in. “Elvis is dead,” he said, and my mom cried. I was too young to follow politics, and two years later, I would barely register the upheaval in Iran, but in my world, Elvis Presley reigned supreme. So I cried too.
This week I went to a Meet-up event for writers– something that’s been on my to-do list for ages. There were seven of us at the Village Tap in Roscoe Village. We sat on the back patio with a noisy crowd of Cub fans. Above us a section of the cloth roof was rolled back like the lid of a sardine can, showing us a sliver of sky. We took turns posing questions to one another and shouting our answers down the length of the picnic table.
I just finished working with a wonderful story coach named Pat. We spent a month together shaping and defining my upcoming book. Pat was a pro about finding the arc of the story—the only hitch was that what I called the end, she said was the middle.
Ugh. Anyone who has tackled a long-term project knows that the last thing you want to hear is that you’re halfway there!
I didn’t want to write about my dad dying—too painful, or about the long overdue breakup with a boyfriend—too embarrassing.