How I’m practicing telling myself my story

In case you didn’t know, I’m going to write a book someday. I mean, I’m going to write a legitimate book, like one with over a hundred pages, hard copies, all that. I’ve had this idea that one of the books I write, maybe the first one (maybe the only one), will be a memoir.

I want to tell my story.

It’s not just my story. It’s bundled with a collection of characters. It just happens to be from my perspective.

For a while now, I’ve been wondering how to get good at telling this story. Now I think I might have stumbled on a solution, at least to get started.

Today, once again, I watched a retelling of Scott Harrison’s story, the story of the founder of charity:water. His is easily one of my favorites of anyone living today, maybe even the favorite. I aspire to be as inspiring as he is. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For now, I need to practice.

Having seen a handful of videos of Scott telling his story, I’ve noticed a few key points that he likes to repeat. I’ve also noticed what I especially like, what I think he should try to include every time he tells his story.

He’s told his story so many times, I’m sure, that he’s even created little shortcuts for telling it as efficiently and as effectively as possible. I think journalists call these “soundbites,” right? They help reduce complex stories into simple, easy to remember phrases.

Part of that comes from skilled craftsmanship on the part of the storyteller. Another part of it, though, just comes from practice. You tell the story over and over again enough times, you learn the best ways to get your point across.

So that’s what I’m going to start trying to do. I recorded about two hours worth of footage of me just telling my story. Instead of trying to outline it all out or remember all the details or tell it in any kind of compelling way, I just talked.

Next time, it might be longer because I remember more. Or next time, it might be shorter because I’m able to cram more into the same amount of time. I’m not sure how it will work as I practice more.

What I do know, though, is that if I continue to practice and craft and watch and learn and edit and do it all over again, I’ll get better.

That’s how I’m learning to do it anyway.