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If You Want to Tell Great Stories You Need to Do This

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If You Want to Tell Great Stories You Need to Do This

“Oh, I’d love to write a book, but I can’t write.”

I don’t think I’ve heard that sentence said more often than in the weeks since my business book was released.

I’m not sure if it’s a lack of drive, or confidence, or the genuine belief that writing is some kind of unreachable skill, that stops people from putting pen to paper. If it is the belief that you really can’t write, then this is the article for you. Because I am going to tell you now that, “You can.” You are already a born storyteller, we all are! And I’m going to give you a few tips to get you going and keep you growing with your writing.

If I did it, you can too!

I started writing, in public, almost three years ago. In that time, I’ve published over one hundred articles online. It has led me to be invited on podcasts, to speak to groups and in May I released my first book, Once Upon a Time in Small Business.

From a personal perspective, telling my stories has helped more people than I can count and that has bought me the greatest amount of joy. It’s my driver. I wanted to say the things other people weren’t saying; tell the real story of what is like to be a mother and a family in Australian Small Business.

Just start.

In those almost three years, I’ve had hits, and I’ve had misses … Big misses! When I look at some of those earlier articles, it’s hard not to cringe! But I wouldn’t have anything to cringe at if I hadn’t opened Word and started typing! It’s never been easier to start your own blog with your own rules, so just start!

Write how you speak.

Some of the best stories and articles are written ‘in conversation’ and some of the hardest articles and stories to get out are the ones where you are trying too hard to ‘write’; overthinking everything. So, write how you speak and if you find it hard to type how you speak, get a dictaphone app or a recording device and talk it out. As a bonus, you’ll have just recorded the beginnings of a podcast. And if you transcribe it, you’ll have a draft article.

Read and listen.

If you want to be a great writer, you need to be a great reader or a great listener. I’m not talking about just business books. Get your hands on novels, memoirs, articles, audiobooks and podcasts; whatever takes your interest! Different genres tackle storytelling in different ways, and I personally like mixing a more light-hearted or fairy-tale style of writing with my non-fiction topics.

Don’t be afraid to break the ‘rules’.

When I started writing, a lot of the business articles and books I was reading were only talking about success; in order to teach how to be successful, they needed to portray success. Those stories have a place, for sure but I wanted Small Business owners to know that what they were going through, pre-success, was normal, they weren’t alone. So I broke the ‘rules’ and started writing about our day to day life. The struggle of startups and Small Business, and people started to respond.

If you can stand around at a BBQ and tell a story, then you can write.

If you have a story to tell, then you can be a great storyteller. So, don’t be that person standing in line at a book signing, wishing the book was your own. You can write, and it’s time to start now!

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  • Travis Longmore
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    I remember hearing a great tip in a podcast once about recording your ideas for a book onto your phone and then either listening to it back and typing it up or having someone transcribe it for you. I found this was actually the best way for me to write anything substantial. I hated sitting down to try and write my ideas down and often those ideas came at times I couldn’t sit for long.

    I started recording them on my phone (I still HATE my voice) and found I was finally able to get those ideas on paper. I may one day have a book in me 🙂

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