Settle Stories is working with some great guest bloggers. First up is a talented young writer – Gareth Yates.
Gareth is a writer of movie scripts, plays, poems, and articles and a fan of telling stories. He’s about to graduate from Salford University with a masters in Film Screenwriting, and is a member of the Out of Joint Writer’s Academy in Salisbury.
You might think personal storytelling refers to terrible childhood secrets or traumatising experiences. Whilst these are often examples, personal stories could be any experience that caused you to feel something, anything. It seems easier to recall pain and suffering than joy and success, and that’s what this article is about; the range of stories we might tell.
Trauma and Pain
It could be you’ve suffered from cancer, a painful loss, abuse. It could be how an accident or crime has affected a person’s life. They’re stories that tap into the dark stuff, often painful, incredibly personal experiences, and I’d imagine take a lot of bravery to tell.
Magic and Synchronicity
Can you think of a time in life when things just fell into place, where you were at a loss and suddenly had a sign, a message, a push to go on? I was once on a bus debating to quit my job and go volunteering in New Mexico, when the bus stopped, and I saw a parked car with a bumper-sticker advertising New Mexico. I went home, booked the trip, and made amazing friends. These stories give hope that in the darkness of life there can be joy, and magic.
Victories and Successes
The speed bumps on the way to success, a struggle against adversity and how you came out on top. These could be personal, perhaps overcoming trauma, or physical, such as a dream come true.
Connection to Nature or God
Have you ever felt connected to something bigger? These stories often come when we open our eyes and take a closer look at the world. It could be an animal came up to you when you needed it most, or how a place took you back to childhood, and became a safe haven.
How Another’s Story Has Affected You
Personal stories are powerful because of the emotion behind them, so it might be hard to tell another’s story. You could, however, talk about how it affected you, such as how someone else’s pain caused you distress, or how someone’s story inspired you to action.
This list is not exhaustive, but I hope gives an idea of the range of personal stories you could tell. They might not make the most interesting drama, but are interesting when told as your truth, and could give audiences wonderful insights, and possibly, their own story to tell.