Stories are the foundation of life. No matter as a hobby or as a way of life, the art of story telling 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?" Do not 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 but 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 it's own, as cliche as that sounds. So hopefully today, I can help you find that inner story teller and kickstart your writing journey.
What platform is suitable for you
There are so many ways nowadays to get your piece shared but not every platform might be suitable for you. So I have listed some of the more popular platforms that is used today and elaborate on why it might or might not be something you should dive into.
This is perhaps the most common form of online writing nowadays. Almost everyone that is trying to break into the writing scene starts of with a blog. Even celebrities like Tiffani Thiessen has a blog which shows that blogging can be for anyone, EVEN you. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes and is only limited to the boundaries of your imagination. Starting a blog requires little to no knowledge in coding or website development as nowadays everything can be found online if you search hard enough. However, if you are looking to build a successful blog, having a hosting company is crucial. My personal suggestion is bluehost if you are a beginner as they have a 24/7 live chat and a one click wordpress installation (which is the best platform for blogging if you are just starting out). After getting your domain name and installing wordpress, it's off to the races. It is as simple as writing an article and hit publish, voila. So just to recap, blogging is amazing for beginners who want to get a glimpse of the creative lifestyle and the one that requires little to no funding at all depending on your intentions. It also provides avenues to expand professionally when you decide to do so due to its flexibility.
Journaling goes back to the roots of pen and paper-which is to some-the only rational way to write. Carrying a notebook and writing 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 organise their thoughts easier 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 probably the most accessible to the common folk. If you are unsure of whether or not writing is for you, starting on pen and paper will give you the most nostalgic 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 for? It is for those who wants to get started right away without any financial investment or for those who wants quick access to their work. It can also be for those who likes the feel of writing on pen and paper which is as traditional as it gets.
3. Book writing
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 to reach their readers. I must admit book writing is not for the common folk in a sense that it usually requires you to spend a good chunk of your time planning and writing the book. Furthermore, most of us also wouldn't be experienced enough in a certain field to write about that niche or topic. However, 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.
4. Video making
Youtube. The platform where all creatives turn to nowadays if you were to mention video creation. Youtubers like "Casey Neistat" has really set the gold standards for modern day story telling with his high definition video and relatable stories. Seeing that making YouTube videos is all the hype nowadays, it might seem like the optimal option for you. But just some words of precaution, though the barrier to entry to this 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 interests goes in and out every other day, so if you are really looking into making YouTube videos, you should be thinking of the long term rather than an overnight success. Likewise for all other platforms, do not expect to be successful overnight but more so in the realm of YouTube, this is rarely the case. But all these aside, video as a form of story telling is relatively new compared to writing and it allows for more creative input like screen play and effects that are not present previously. If you are looking for a way to expand your creative knowledge as well as tell a story, then maybe this is for you.
There are some common misconceptions that are usually associated with writing which may dissuade some of you but if you persevere and strive on, you will notice that you are so much more fluent and coherent in the way you express yourself and the number of people that will enjoy your content.
One of the main 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 tiny poems to award winning novels. Writing a book and the like 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 want to put into it. It differs for everyone and if you are a full time college student or work a 9 to 5 job, then maybe writing a book may not be an ideal medium for you and maybe you can look into blogging or poetry instead which requires significantly less amount of time. 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. Just set aside a set amount of time each week or month to write and change it up from there.
Another misconception I hear often 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 and who cares about what's hot or trendy, those usually change every single day so there is literally no point in chasing these mindless trends. Posting topics you are actually passionate about will create a community that is interested in your content and this is extremely important if you are looking into building a following in the future.
Honestly I think that writing should really be more prevalent nowadays as there is so much more ways to get your work out there as compared to before. It also allows one to learn the art of expression and story telling which are qualities that are neglected in today's world. As I said stories is the foundation of life, it's what gives people their uniqueness and personalities and being able to portray these stories well is something that inspires a million. Remember, life revolves around stories and stories revolve around creativity. Do one well and it will radically alter your life for the better.
"The telling of stories creates the real world"