Writing: personal development through your life stories

In 2011, I began writing a blog of stories from my life repertoire. I could never have imagined the journey that it would take me on.

storytelling-writing-tips-flickr-300x225After grappling with demons and dragons and eventually befriending them I found that they opened the gate to treasures beyond my wildest dreams.

Initially it was a charming experience as I was transported back to heart-warming memories from my childhood. I felt inspired to write more. Later stories, however, were less sweet. There was sadness and heartbreak.

I didn’t care to delve into the challenging times in my life as I had explored them years earlier and accepted them, feeling grateful that they were behind me.

However, I decided to write about them anyway and I discovered that beneath each there was a gift, often several. These were realisations about myself and about others. I discovered hidden talents, beliefs that had out-run their sell by dates and extraordinary kindnesses from other people.

On the journey I trained as a Storyteller and Narrative Practitioner so that I could help others to discover the treasure in their stories too. If you’d like to discover the treasure in your stories and you’re keen to start right away – here are some tips to help you.

Writing tips

1) Relax to let a story surface

Find somewhere relaxing where you won’t be disturbed. Have a pen and paper ready.

2) Notice the flashing beacon

Stories that hold your treasure emit an energetic signal like a flashing beacon so they’re not really hidden at all – they’re just outside your conscious awareness waiting for your attention.

3) Tune in

Open up to the flashing beacon and the story behind it will be revealed. Even when you have only a vague sense of the story, as you allow it to flow it will become clearer. Stay with it. Write it down.

4) Allow the story to emerge

The initial form of the story is usually not the whole truth. You may have felt victimised or broken-hearted. Write it down just the way that it naturally wants to come through – don’t censor it.

5) Create space for the wisdom

Once the story is on the page, read it and feel your feelings about it – don’t indulge them, just let them flow. Leave the story for a few days or a couple of weeks and then reread it. You may begin to see it differently – from more objective eyes.

6) Discover the treasure

Ask yourself what was really going on for everyone (including yourself) in that story? What did you learn? How could you see it differently from this new perspective? What is the gift of wisdom in that story?

7) Lighten up

Once a more empowering thread appears you’ll recognise it because it will lighten you up – you may even have a ‘Eureka’ moment!

8) Become empowered by your story

Write down this new empowering story. Build upon it until your energy is buzzing and you know that you have discovered its treasure. It may not happen in one sitting – it might happen over several weeks.

9) Integrate your new wisdom

storytelling-writing-tips-208x300Once you have collected your gemstones from the story, put them into your life knapsack (or in your heart) and continue your journey to discover the next treasure that awaits you.

If you’re finding it difficult to come-up with stories or your want to find out more about discovering the treasure in your life stories – you can order my new book, a wisdom memoir:

The Tao of Storytelling – 30 Ways to Create Empowering Stories to Live By – available from my website www.narrativewisdom.com or Amazon.

The Tao of Storytelling is a wisdom memoir with 30 narratives from my life. Each story contains a universal truth or them, which may resonate with you. These ‘aha moments’ of recognition will help you to access some your own stories.

Then there are exercises for you to do to discover the treasure in your own personal stories, too. When you do so you can become empowered by your treasure so that you can build a future that resonates with your passions, gifts and dreams.

Claire Taylor

About Claire Taylor

I grew up on a Farm in Ireland and moved to the UK aged 18. Like many, I bought into the myth of perfection and became adept at keeping up appearances. I built a successful career in marketing and brand development, working with multinational corporate organisations and collected a string of qualifications. However, I craved authenticity and a way of living that was more real and heartfelt. That desire has taken me on an exciting journey in search of greater meaning in my work. Eventually I found my calling as a storyteller, narrative practitioner, writer and business consultant. I live in Northamptonshire with my husband David. My son Ryan is grown up and we have a gorgeous golden retriever called Sage.