Thursday, April 21, 2011

Write It Short and Sweet: Storytelling Tip #2

Thursday seems like a good day for Storytelling Tips. I posted the first one two weeks ago, so here is Tip #2.

Confession: I read blogs every morning. It's a kind of happy wake-up routine for me (and coffee, of course). When I read this from Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project blog, I let out a deep breath of relief:

"The idea of keeping a proper journal was far too daunting, so I decided instead to keep a “one-sentence journal.”

Release! I am also a hit-and-miss-stop-and-start-love-it-and-hate-it kind of journaler. If I sit down at night, in the morning, or during the day to journal, I feel a need to write more than one or two sentences. After all, will I really want to go back and read a collection of one-sentence entries? Actually, when you are forced to hone your writing down to one sentence (or two, or three since cheating IS allowed), your writing can often become more focused, clear, and yes, creative. Facebook status posts are an interesting study in one-sentence journaling. The best "posters" are those who can say it quickly, but they say something that is worth remembering: funny, provocative, enlightening, but it doesn't keep me reading for TOO long. The rambling posts drive me mad. So in a one-sentence journal, I am able to hone my storytelling skills by force. I better think carefully about that sentence, because it's my story for the day. I have just begun my own one-sentence journal. I didn't go out and buy a fancy Moleskin notebook, however. That's too much pressure. I have a free app on my IPad called My Writing Spot where I dash off my one (or two, or three) sentences after dinner or right before bed. Of course, a notebook journal works fine too; just don't make an investment that doesn't seem worthy of only one sentence per page! If you need more inspiration for this, check out Gretchen's post about her journal.

If you want to slash that sentence even more, Smith Magazine is the home of the six-word memoir. Now there's a challenge! This website is also a bit addictive, and I've been known to spend way too long reading the six-word stories of other memoir writers. So lose the intimidation and try writing your story short and sweet!

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