Do you ever feel insignificant or lacking worth in a world where we are constantly bombarded by other people’s achievements? If you’d love to share a little more, either through words or images, but feel inadequate in some way, then read on.
In this ever-connected social media world, we peek into people’s lives from the outside, with the focus on their red-letter days: the life-changing events, the adventurous trips, the thrilling announcements. It’s oh so easy to compare our stories and find ourselves wanting, to feel that our lives aren’t interesting enough and that we have nothing to say. Yet our lives are not defined by bright, exciting events. It’s the stretches of time in between that matter – the little instants, the quiet moments and the daily choices that make us who we are.
I used to feel that my voice wasn’t worth hearing and my story wasn’t worth telling. I was a new mother, with a baby and a toddler. My days were a hazy cycle of nappies and milk. Time was for me demarcated by the number of cups of coffee going cold, by nap times and bath times, long days and sleepless nights. I felt that I had nothing whatsoever of interest to say.
In my spare moments late at night, my laptop and I took a journey into an unknown world. I found corners of the internet that women like me had claimed for their own. Corners where they were capturing their lives with words and with pictures, starting conversations and sharing their thoughts. I opened my eyes and saw the world afresh – I picked up my camera for the first time in years, and learned to notice and to capture the little moments that lit me up, that inspired, intrigued, surprised or delighted me.
I embarked upon a decade-long creative journey that took me from feeling lost and isolated to living a fulfilling creative life, with a varied freelance career that I love. I truly believe that everything I’ve achieved came from finding the confidence to realise that my story was worth sharing and that my unique voice –although quiet –was relevant. I told the smallest, simplest story, but it was mine, and it was true.
As part of my E-Course, Little Stories of My Life, I share seven secrets of storytelling. One of these secrets is to always tell a truth. It’s the truth, I have learned, that draws people into a story. The tiniest tale can be incredibly powerful when it’s shared with honesty and even vulnerability. Every story contains within it a kernel of truth- something of true value and significance. If you can isolate this truth, the rest of your story will flow from it.
You can tell the truth with words, but you can also capture it with images. The mood that you create in an image helps to contain the truth and emotion contained in a moment. You can use a myriad of visual clues such as positioning of the subject, scale, and colour choices in order to infuse an image with a particular mood. Our truths are caught up in the details: the infinitesimal moments of our lives are what make us human and unique.
A small story captured carefully and told truly will always have more power than a grandiose narrative told without heart. Everyone has tales to tell. Sometimes it can take courage to find the voice with which to tell them, but I believe in the power of small stories.
I believe in the power of your stories.
Next week, I’m excited to be teaching my signature storytelling E-course, Little Stories of My Life, for the fourth time. In this meditative five week course I will nurture your creativity and confidence, teaching you my secrets of storytelling with words and pictures and revealing how to find the magic in the everyday. Whether it’s to grow a creative business or just for yourself, I want to help you harness the power of your small stories.
Class starts on 4th November, and registration will remain open for just a week after that. If you’d like to know more, and discover what past students have said about the course, you’ll find details of how to join me here.
I’m offering 91 readers an exclusive 15% discount using the code 91LITTLESTORIES. If you have any questions about the course, you’ll find me over on Instagram as @circleofpines – do come and say hello.