I have had several people tell me that they want to submit a story but just aren't sure how to write one. Some have said, "I don't have a story to share." Let me tell you that everyone has a story. Repeat. Everyone. Has. A. Story. In today's piece, I am going to show you the two easiest methods for either writing or developing your story. There is a good bit of information you can look up on Google and such that can show you the components of a story or even how to put it in writing, but I am sharing what I have found to be the easiest by far.
A lot of stories that fall into the "life changing, will never forget, the most difficult time of my life" categories follow what is called the Hero's Journey. When you research hero's journey online, you will find there are many ways to break it down, with some having as little as five components and some as many as seventeen.
In a nutshell, the hero's journey involves an ordinary person just minding their own business living their life when suddenly they are "called to action." This call to action is often referred to as an adventure or a journey. The protagonist (that would be the ordinary person or you) really, really does not want to go on this supposed adventure or journey. However, with the support of a mentor, and this might be a friend, family member, expert in the area they are about to explore, they finally decide (reluctantly) to accept this challenge. Either alone, or with the help of his/her new friends or mentors, crosses over the threshold to start this journey. The protagonist is tested. He/she encounters enemies but also meets wonderful new people that help them get through their journey. It's during this time that they are preparing for the challenge and ultimately facing the "giant" or the big change. They are successful in their quest or in other words overcomes their enemy. This is the climax of the story.
It is after this that they gain what they are looking for, succeed in getting what they went after, or basically win their prize or reward. Now, they have been successful in their journey, and have met some new mentors/friends, or people who may have been in their shoes before. It may be that they went through several minor setbacks or even better discovered something wonderful about themselves they didn't realize was there. Maybe they were stronger mentally, physically, or emotionally than they thought. Nonetheless, they conquered something, someone, or whatever the case may be despite their initial fears or hesitancy.
Now it's time to come back to their ordinary life. This may be hard sometimes because maybe the experience was traumatic or took up so much of their mind/emotions it is hard to just wake up and say, "well that's over, guess I'll just go on like nothing." This is a huge turning point here. In the hero's journey, this period would be considered the resurrection and return. To ultimately complete this journey, the central character must be able to survive returning to everyday life. The hope is that the story closes where the protagonist has gained great knowledge or strength, has improved on a personal level in some way, can share with others the wisdom they acquired along the way, and is overall a hero in their own right.
I don't think there is any set amount of time that these acts take to flow from one to another. It could be weeks, months, or years even. People can often get stuck in one of these scenes and never progress. That is why sharing your hero story is so important. How great is it that you have conquered and survived something huge only to share that to inspire others to keep on their journey?
Another great way to get your creative juices flowing is to document the chapters of your life. Sometimes we may think we don't have a story to tell, but when we take our life, and break it into sections it becomes clear that you most certainly do have a tale to tell. For instance, you may break it down like this:
- School, including high school, graduation, or getting their GED
- Transition to college or college life in general if applicable
- Love life and dating
- Having children/adopting/struggles becoming pregnant
You see how this works. Once it's broken down, all kinds of memories are triggered. You may find that it is easier to focus on one area of your life at a time.
Remember that no matter what you share, you always have the option of submitting anonymously. You do not have to provide your name to share a story.
On the contrary, I understand that some stories are just too hard to talk about or share. Completely understandable. I hope and pray for peace in your life if that is the case.
Also, some may not necessarily have a story to share but connected and purchased a shirt in support of, in memory of, in honor of, because they liked the design, etc. I would love to hear about that too!
Be on the lookout for my personal hero's journey!
Now get out there and celebrate (and document) your When Life moments 😊