“We either own our stories (even the messy ones), or we stand outside of them-denying our vulnerabilities and imperfections, orphaning the parts of us that don’t fit in with who/what we think we’re supposed to be, and hustling for other people’s approval of our worthiness.”
What is your story?
Deeper than your name, your hometown, and your favorite color. What’s the story you obsess over at night? The one you struggle with when you’re alone? What’s the story that haunts your prayer time or makes you feel like you shouldn’t pray at all?
You’re frustrated because you still feel stuck in the middle of learning it and wonder if you really have anything to offer anyone else. Am I right?
Our stories are all different. The who, what, when, where, why, and how change from person to person. But the one common denominator is that all of our stories have power.
Let me say it again: Your story is powerful.
Challenge starts 3/27!
Through writing, I have found my voice, connected with others in similar situations, and witnessed the creation of an online community of grace-givers that continues to astound me every single day.
While I thought successful writing was all about page views and building a name for myself, I have found even greater satisfaction in writing through my brokenness and helping others do the same.
I am Steve Austin. I have been blogging my story of messy grace since 2010. Along the way, I’ve found this message resonates deeply. I’ve had work featured on The Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Patheos, RELEVANT Magazine, & The Mighty.
I am so excited about this FREE, easy-to-follow, helpful, and effective resource!
When you sign up for the 7-Day Writing Challenge, you’ll receive a PDF worksheet via email, each day for 7 days. Included, is a video of Steve Austin, creator of the Writing Challenge, walking you through each module, step-by-step.
Every time we find the courage to be vulnerable with another human being, 3 things happen:
- We give the reader the gift of connection. Maybe we also give them hope, humor, a chance to finally cry, a nugget of wisdom, or a challenge to get off their rear and do something with their lives.
- We give the reader space to join us in the experience. A way to say “me too”.
- Each time we tell our story, we grow stronger.
Sign up here. Challenge begins 3/27!
Owning your story and crafting a powerful message requires skillful writing, creativity, and vulnerability. Often, I hear things like, “But I don’t have a story like you.” Many people think they don’t have a story because they’ve never sat down and thought through it.
Before you start trying to craft the next viral HuffPost article, just write. Put it all on paper, as the details start to flood in. Some people prefer a computer and some want paper and pen. Some people can only write in silence and others want music playing. Find the place that makes you comfortable and just start writing.
After the first draft, go back and flesh it out. Give me specifics. You can never give too much information in your first or second draft. You can always edit things out later.
Give me concrete nouns. Let me smell your grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner as you open the door to her little cottage in the country. I want to hear the creaky old stairs at your Uncle John’s cabin. What were you thinking as the wreck happened and you looked over to see shattered pieces of the windshield, glittered across your sister’s face? Ignite my senses as a reader. Take me there with you and let me get inside your head.
- What’s the one thing you want to make sure your reader walks away with?
- What is one image you want to reference throughout?
- What’s your goal? Is it inspiration? Education? Awareness? To pick a fight?
- How long should it be? Just write! Don’t stress over word count.
The goal in all of this crafting is to tell me a compelling story that will change someone’s life. And life change happens in big and small ways: in simple inspiration, in causing me to slow down for five minutes and join in someone else’s struggle, or maybe something even bigger.
Remember, isn’t your job to save the whole world. Just tell your story, the best way you know how. And the good news? I am here to help! You may not be Stephen King or Anne Lamott overnight, but the secret is to start writing. And don’t stop!
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