Start with a Story

I was stumped.

I had been staring at an article I was writing for work for hours. I had the meat of the piece down, and evening an ending. But the beginning just wasn’t coming.

I knew I only needed a few hundreds words. The topic was set, I just needed a way in. But no matter what I typed, nothing seemed right. I must have typed and deleted my way through half a dozen ways of starting. I disliked one more than the last.

I let it sit for a weekend and came back to it on a Monday afternoon. That’s when it hit me: start with a story. Even if it was hypothetical, begin the piece with an anecdote related to the topic. Fortunately, the topic itself (the cyber scourge known as spear phishing) lent itself quite well to this strategy.

I had finally struck upon a solution. Thinking back, I’m surprised it took me that long. It sure as hell isn’t groundbreaking advice. I remembered back to my newspaper reporting days, where my job was to literally tell stories. Outside of spot news, where the lead had to be the classic five W’s, the storytelling lead was an incredibly common tactic. And an impactful one when done well.

So there you have it. I can’t say why something that was so ingrained in my former life took me so long to come upon again. But, if this small post can help anyone reading this with the same trouble I had, it will have served as purpose.