Tell that story!

”Ah look at all the lonely people! Ah look at all the lonely people! ”— I keep humming these lyrics in my head for some months. (Listen the full song below)

I have first heard this song in October last year while attending The Power of Storytelling conference, an amazing event that brings together storytellers from diverse fields. The song was introduced by Jacqui Banaszynski, a remarkable journalist, as being a perfect story. Listen the song again and you will see that it has all the elements of a great story: it has a character, a structure, scenes that carry meaning, a theme and relevant details (the aspects of the story where we zoom in). More importantly the song sticks with you, at least in my case it did.

Every time the song comes to my mind it makes me remember that stories are not only for the writers and other creative careers. Stories make us connect, make us feel a range of emotions, make us heal, make us believe, make us who we are. And so, stories can make us change our life and change the world.

Let's listen to the song again! If a great story can be told in just 2:41 minutes, than it must be easier than it seems to create stories and all you have to do is start. But actually you have already started, no matter what your job is, because all our life is in the end made of smaller and bigger stories. We just have to acknowledge it. And so, I ended up believing that the guides that help writers, journalists, bloggers, editors, etc. create great stories, should apply to everything we do. We have to think what is the story we create day by day, the story that our life tells, no matter what job we have.

During The Power of Storytelling conference I wrote down 10 of these principles that were mentioned by the speakers (Jacqui Banaszynski and Chris Jones):

1. If you are good at what you do, you are never good enough. Belief that the work you do matters even when you have the feeling you can do so much better.
2. You need to know the chords to play the guitar!
3. Be ferocious in your learning appetite; consume as much as you can — you keep what you love the most.
4. There is no right process — find the process that works for you.
5. You must be disciplined; you must be single-minded.
6. Take your time — good things take time.
7. Be honest with yourself, love what you do!
8. The work will not always love you back; good work does not always win!
9. A creative person will be sometimes lonely; creative work is quiet work.
10. You belief that you can get it done — is part of the deal!

So, tell that story, that story that keeps you going even in the hard times, that story that makes you smile, that story that makes you forget about the time, that story that makes you better every time!