Today is Day 21 of the series, 31 Days to Telling Your Story.
This series has been written in conjunction with the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes writing challenge, and today we’re writing on the prompt, START.
For more posts in this series, visit the Table of Contents page.
So far in this series, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve talked about why you should share your story, ways in which it God can use it to help others, how you can share your story, and even when it’s appropriate to tell your story. Now that we’ve laid this thorough foundation, eventually we need to begin, right?
If you’re going to tell your story, you have to start somewhere.
The beauty of telling your story is that you don’t have to start at the beginning. You can start anywhere you want. You could even start with the middle or the end.
One of the first articles I ever wrote for another website was a story about the day my mom died. That wasn’t the beginning of my story, but it was a pivotal moment that shaped both past and future. I started there.
Then, when I ended up writing a full-length memoir, that same story became instrumental as I used it to frame the entire book.
At my editor’s suggestion, I actually started my book in the middle so to speak, then backtracked in time with a flashback to my childhood.
There’s so much freedom here, so don’t get stuck by where or how you should start. Just start.
This past weekend, I got to attend a Christian Writers’ Conference. During one conversation with a woman who wanted to write her own memoir, she admitted to not knowing where to start. Then she proceeded to describe this wonderful childhood memory about a neighbour’s garden, and I interrupted her and said, “There. Start there. That’s what you write first. Write about the garden.”
She had already demonstrated to me through her speech that she had vivid memories of the place, even describing the scents she recalled. I told her, “Even if you don’t open your memoir with that scene, go home and start there. Write that scene with as much detail as you can, then build the rest of your story around it.”
So don’t waste time agonizing over where to start. Just pick a vibrant memory, and start there.
Read more posts from this series by visiting this page.
Start-Up Guide for Online Writers
And if you’re struggling to get started telling your story,
make sure you grab these five free writing prompts below: