Stories are the foundation of life. No matter as a hobby or as a way of life, the art of storytelling exists in all of us. Writing down your thoughts is the first incremental step to embarking on this amazing journey and trust me, it's an experience like no other. But you might be wondering, "How do I go about doing that?" Or "Which medium is best suited for me?" Don’t fret as I have some useful suggestions for you!
Being able to tell a captivating story is a skill that is widely overlooked but to be able to do it well is not as simple as most people perceive it to be. As people's attention span gets shorter, the art of writing can be somewhat intimidating, and to be very honest, before I started writing, I actually dreaded it. But once my pen touches paper, it seems as if it has a mind of its own, as cliche as that sounds. So hopefully today, I can help you find that inner storyteller and kickstart your writing journey.
Finding The Correct Medium for Your Storyteller Platform
There are many different ways to share your story online. However, every platform might not be suitable for you depending on your style and personal preferences. The power behind storytelling lies within our unique experiences — a great story comes from the heart.
Below are some of the more popular mediums that are used today. I’ve elaborated on why each might or might not be something you should consider utilizing.
This is perhaps the most common form of online writing nowadays. Almost everyone that is trying to break into the writing scene starts off with a blog. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes and are only limited by the boundaries of your imagination. Starting a blog no longer requires advanced knowledge in coding or website development as there are many different options that offer templates to get you started.
However, if you are looking to build a successful blog, having a hosting company is crucial. This allows you to have a custom domain, which will increase your professionalism and credibility. My personal recommendation is bluehost. They have a 24/7 live chat and a one-click WordPress installation (which is the best platform for blogging due to its customizability and wide-variety of plug-ins).
After snagging your domain name and customizing your theme, it's off to the races. It is as simple as writing an article and hitting publish. Blogging is an amazing opportunity for beginners who want to get a glimpse of the creative lifestyle. The cost-of-entry is low compared to other mediums and it also provides avenues to expand professionally if and when you decide to do so.
Journaling goes back to the roots of writing: pen and paper. To purists, this is the only rational way to write and it allows you to minimize digital distractions and solely focus on your writing. Carrying a notebook and jotting down your thoughts on the go can be super convenient during your day-to-day commute and during those times of creative flow. It can also help one organize their thoughts more easily as they are all compiled in a single place.
I want to emphasize that this is perhaps the easiest way to get into writing and is likely the most accessible for nearly everyone. If you’re unsure of whether or not writing is for you, starting on pen and paper will give you the most nostalgic and authentic experience and feel of writing. Not to forget, the amount of satisfaction you derive when you finish a notebook is indescribable.
So, who is this platform for? It’s for those who want to get started right away without any major financial investment or for those who want quick access to their work. It can also be for those who enjoy the feeling of writing on pen and paper, which is as traditional as it gets.
Writing a book today has never been easier with the introduction of ebooks and digital publishing. That isn't to say that traditional books are on their way out, but rather this allows book writers more avenues and opportunities to reach their readers. I must admit that book writing is not ideal for novice writers due to the immense amount of time commitment and planning that must go into completing a book.
Furthermore, most of us also wouldn't be experienced enough in a certain field to write about that niche or topic. However, there are tons of different genres that don’t require an immense amount of experience or credentials.
Despite these limitations, one might still find success in this platform if you are looking to challenge yourself creatively or even simply to have the accomplishment of publishing a book.
YouTube is the platform where most creatives turn to if they want to try video creation. However, there are many other platforms that have started popping up in recent years like IGTV, Reels, TikTok, and Snapchat. YouTube remains dominant due to its large user base and the ability for creators to monetize off of their content.
Vloggers like Casey Neistat have really set the gold standard for modern-day storytelling with his high production, editing skills, and captivating stories. YouTube was the first mainstream video sharing platform and continues to reign king to this day.
At first glance, it might seem like YouTube is the clear choice if you want to take a shot at video production, but just some words of precaution: though the barrier to entry to the platform has been lowered significantly with the advancement of smartphone technology, the need to stand out from the myriad of other videos has also increased tremendously. New videos are being uploaded every second and video trends are changing on a daily basis.
If you are really looking into making YouTube videos, be prepared for a long-term play and not an overnight success. Similar to all other platforms, do not expect to be successful after publishing one video, but especially in the realm of YouTube, this is rarely the case.
All these caveats aside, vlogging remains relatively new compared to writing, but it allows for more creative input like screenplay, editing, visual effects, and more. If you are looking for a way to expand your creative knowledge as well as tell a story, then vlogging might be the way to go.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years. The main appeal of podcasting is that it allows you to host different guests from across the world. With the rise of Zoom and other video conferencing software, it’s relatively easy to get started as you only need a computer with a camera, a microphone, and access to the internet.
Podcasts are also easy to repurpose into other forms of content for maximum sharing capabilities within your social media presence. Not only can a 45-minute conversation be turned into a podcast, but it can also be repurposed as a YouTube video, snippets for social media, and written articles. And since you’re typically having a casual conversation/interview with another individual with them doing most of the talking, you won’t have to struggle to come up with additional topic ideas.
Podcasting is certainly something to look into if you aren’t afraid to reach out and talk to other individuals. Additionally, podcasting can oftentimes be useful for generating backlinks to your website, which will help boost your SEO. When you publish a podcast or a piece of repurposed content from the session on one of your social media accounts, be sure to tag the person in the episode or send them some assets they can share on their own channels. More often than not, people love to showcase their interviews and are happy to share your content organically.
Some Common Misconceptions About Storytelling
It is worth noting that there are some common misconceptions associated with writing which may discourage you at first. It’s important to look past these misconceptions and push forward. If you’re able to do this, you’ll notice that the more you create the more you’ll become coherent in the way you express yourself. In return, this will lead to a larger following of people that enjoy consuming your content.
One of the biggest misconceptions that I see people have is that "writing takes up too much of my time." Though there is some truth in this statement, writing comes in all shapes and sizes from short poems to lengthy novels. Writing a book would inevitably require more time to write but it's all up to how much you are capable of writing, and more importantly, how much time you’re willing and able to put into it. It differs for everyone and if you’re a full-time college student or work a 9-to-5 job, then perhaps writing a book may not be an ideal medium for you.
At the end of the day, it really depends on the individual. Some might prefer to write longer novels while some might prefer to write short stories. My advice is to set aside a set amount of time each week or month to write and go from there.
Another misconception I often hear is that "I don't think anyone will be interested in what I am writing." Trust me on this one, there is at least one person in the world that would be interested in your topic! And then that one person will turn into two and eventually into thousands in no time. As long as you are reaching that one person, there will definitely be people looking at your content and finding value in them.
Don't be afraid to write about what you are passionate about. It may be tempting to write about what's hot or trendy, but these typically change on a regular basis so there is no point in chasing these mindless trends. Posting topics you are actually passionate about will create a community that is interested in your content, which plays an extremely important role if you are looking into building a following.
Honestly, I think that writing should really be more prevalent nowadays. There are so many different ways to get your story out there than there were previously. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the different platforms until you find what clicks for you. Let your creative juices flow and write down what pops into your mind.
Regardless of which platform you choose, working on your storytelling abilities allows you to learn the art of expression, which is often an overlooked skill in today’s world. Stories are the foundation of life. These stories are what make us unique and being able to share these stories well is something that leads to a huge impact. Remember, life revolves around stories and stories revolve around creativity. Do one well and it will radically alter your life for the better.
Make Sure Your Story Is Heard
Creating and publishing your story is just the beginning. You’ve spent hours of time working on crafting the perfect story, so make sure you take the correct steps in sharing it with the world. Missinglettr makes it easy to effortlessly schedule your article promotion, giving you more time to focus on telling additional stories. Try a free 14-day trial today!