So, what’s your story? Everyone has one. We tell them verbally, we tell them in writing. Story is as old as human beings. In fact, we would know so little about ourselves and our world if had not been for the simple telling of stories throughout history.
The beauty of a story is that it often takes something and attempts to explain it in the context of something else. Many times in life, people don’t completely understand what we say or what we do. If we can craft a good story, parable or even metaphor, it can become much clearer.
Think about your business. What is its story? Marketing, by the way, is nothing more than the telling of a story the marketer hopes you will believe. A presentation is nothing more than a story informing or selling. Story is everywhere and the better you are at understanding that and being able to recognize opportunities to enhance your business with them, the better off your business could be.
In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink discusses the value of Story as one of the aptitudes of our new minds. At the end of the chapter, he sets the story challenge bar this way: “Writing anything is hard work. Writing a short story is really hard work. And writing a novel, a play, or a screenplay can take years. So go easy on yourself by writing a mini-saga. Mini-sagas are extremely short stories – just 50 words long . . . no more, no less. Yet like all stories, they have a beginning, a middle and an end.”
The Mini-Saga was “invented” by Brian Aldiss, a writer for the Daily Telegraph. The newspaper holds occasional mini-saga competitions (which must be VERY difficult to judge). Rajesh Setty, at Squidoo (http://www.squidoo.com/minisaga
) believes there to be three benefits of writing the min-saga:
“Benefit #1: Writing a mini saga expands your creativity. Constraints typically expand creativity or induce flight. When you have to put everything in 50 words, you have to ‘leave behind’ a lot. That’s where the creative juices start flowing.
Benefit #2 : Writing a mini saga stretches your thinking. What will you write about? You have to think about topics that will fit in 50 words or squeeze them to fit in 50 words. That puts thinking on overdrive mode.
Benefit #3 : Writing a mini saga enhances your discipline. Deciding what to write about, deciding what to leave behind and putting it in 50 words requires discipline throughout.”
At the worst, writing a mini-saga could be challenging (and who doesn’t like a good challenge?). At best, it could be inspiring. Either way, it could be worth a try.
So, as the year winds down and we reflect on the past and set our sights to the future, what’s your story? What’s you Mini-Saga? Feel free to share, after all, 50 words isn’t too much….
Here’s a sample from Pink to get you thinking….
“When I was shot, fear seized me at first. No surprise that. But once I realized I wasn’t going to die – despite the thermonuclear pain and widening puddle of weirdly warm blood – my mind recalibrated. And one thought, comforting yet disturbing, leapt into my head: I need to Tweet this.”