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Blog Challenge: Personal Blogging – Tell Us a Story

Here’s another for you this week.

There are all types of blogs from highly technical to wildly biased political. This week, I want to focus on the personal blog. A personal blog is more of a diary or journal, a collection of personal writing about a person’s life, be it day-to-day stories or reflections on a life lived.

The writing style for personal blogs tends to range from eloquent and literate to youthful jargon and babble. There are few rules when it comes to online journaling, though spelling and decent grammar are always appreciated.

Write a personal post about a memory from your past.

The challenge is not to write about your day-to-day life, or even your opinion of your day-to-day life. It is to write about a memory, a moment in your past, an adventure, a first, or even a non-event experience like a fun walk in the rain, making a snow fort, surfing, or about an important person in your childhood like a parent, relative, or best friend.

To help you trigger the memories of your past to blog about, I found the Personal Narrative Collection of suggestions. This is a great list of prompts for inspiring recollections of your past. This is an excellent tool for those writing their memoirs or autobiographies, to help children tell stories of their life, and for anyone writing about themselves or interviewing a family member for their blog.

Here are few examples from the article to get the brain looking back into the past for some good stories.

1. [An important friend] Think about a friend who has been an important part of your life. How did you become friends with this person? Think about when you met, what you did, and how your friendship grew. Write a story about this friendship. Give enough details to tell the reader about this friendship.

5. [Special adventure] All of us have had a special time or adventure in our lives. It could be anything such as a visit with a friend or relative, a party you went to, or a game you watched or played. Or it could be something completely different. Write a story about a special time or adventure that you have had. Give enough details in your story to show what it was like and what made it so special.

7. [An important person] Think about people you know or have met. Choose ONE person who has made a big difference in your life. Write about that person AND describe his or her positive effect on your life.

9. [Light bulb Moment] Think of an experience when you realized that you suddenly understood an idea, a skill, or a concept you had been struggling with. Write a narrative that tells the story of your movement toward understanding. Your paper should help readers understand how you felt to struggle with the idea or skill and then to understand.

12. [The Good and the Bad] Think about an event in your life that seemed bad but turned out to be good. Tell the story of the event that you experienced and help your readers understand how an event that seemed negative turned out to have valuable consequences.

16. [Standing Up] Choose a time when you did something that took a lot of nerve, a time when you didn’t follow the crowd or a time when you stood up for your beliefs. Think about the details of the event and write a story that tells about what happened. Your narrative should show your readers why you decided to make a stand or try something that took nerve, give specifics on the events, and share how you felt after the event.

21. [Creating a Story] Imagine that you find a page torn from a short story that has only two lines: “That’s how I became known as a ‘Hero.’ THE END”.

That’s right. I want you to tell us a story.

Storytelling is a natural talent and learned skill. I have a good friend who teaches storytelling at a university, attended by historians, public speakers, acting students, anthropologists, teachers, and just average students. Storytelling is how we shared memories, communicated, and kept alive our history throughout history and time. Parents tell stories to their children, both to educate as well as to protect. Elders often tell stories to preserve the memories before they are gone. Teachers tell stories to educate and help the students understand complex issues. Politicians tell stories to help the “common folk get it”, but also because storytelling seems to come with the territory (groan ;-) ). We like to share the stories of our lives as part of our day-to-day social activity and interaction, so why not tell stories on your blog?

Memoirs, autobiographies, and personal history stories are very popular today, especially among the growing number of older folks on the web. The urge to share stories from our past intensify as we grow older, and the publishing industry is expecting a booming business in memoirs and autobiographies in the next few years as people want to write them, and even more want to read them, reminding themselves of times and events past. There are now many bloggers blogging about their past, creating online autobiographies and memoirs.

Now, it’s your turn to tell us a story.

The Blog Challenge: Tell Us a Story

Now, your challenge today is to take one or more of these suggestions (or find your own memory) and write about it. Then trackback or post the link here so we can learn more about you and your history.

If your blog is not a personal one, and you still want to accept the challenge, then you can post your memory here in the comments. Or think about how you could incorporate this memory blog post into your own blogging purpose and make it work for you. On my , I mostly write educational material, but I’ve reserved an entire category for telling stories about our life on the road. This is also a challenge for the anonymous blogger as sharing personal information may go a bit against the your rules, so I challenge you to tell the story while still staying anonymous, and make sure you share how that kind of writing made you feel.

Post below in the comments what you learned from the experience and how the writing of a memoir moment or memory changed how you normally write in your blog. Did it change your writing style? If you are experienced at writing personal stories, then how was this one different from what you normally write?

Are you up for the challenge? Start working on your storytelling!


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

24 Comments

  1. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Surely you jest? This is going to be two weeks overdue again. Unless I work up some inspiration for myself to work on the last challenge, I’m going to have to take my own sweet time on this. :)

  2. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    And this didn’t have anything to do with one of the last entries to my blog in narrative story form did it?

  3. Posted July 9, 2006 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Nope. Edrei, do you think that you are my sole inspiration? Well, you should. ;-) But not in this case. Hee hee.

  4. Posted July 10, 2006 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    These were one of the most defining days of my life. I put it here in public display to extinguish this memory of its pain and misery.

    I wish to be relased from it and it from me.

    http://taorist.com/2005/10/18/when-daddy-shot-mommy-part-1/

    http://taorist.com/2005/10/25/when-daddy-shot-mommy-part-2-shooting-my-sun/

    http://taorist.com/2005/10/26/when-daddy-shot-mommy-part-3-into-oblivion-again/

  5. Posted July 10, 2006 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    On July 7th, I posted a personal story from one of my self-published books. Don’t know if that counts or not. Anyway, take a look.

    Blessings,

    Shirley Buxton
    http://www.writenow.wordpress.com

  6. Posted July 12, 2006 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    I found this more challenging than I thought. I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on and what needed to be cut — resulting in a long post that ends abruptly. I’ll need to work on those things.

  7. Posted July 12, 2006 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I found this site through a daily read of mine. What a wonderful challenge! I’m looking forward to reading the results. And finding some new daily reads in the process, I imagine!

  8. Posted July 12, 2006 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    This is memories of growing up on my grandmother’s farm and family gatherings.

    http://tbirdonawire.wordpress.com/2006/07/12/grandma/

    Thanks for this challenge. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog and reading these submissions.

  9. Posted July 13, 2006 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Alright everyone, how did it feel to tell your story? Was it a stretch? Was it easy? How was the process for you?

  10. Kristin
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I actually found it relieving, I spent all night writing. A more or less ‘I have to do this’ feeling.

  11. Posted July 15, 2006 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Actually, I find this kind of writing one of the earier for me.

  12. Posted July 15, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I am already two challenges behind, but I have decided to skip the technical ones (I’ll do better with september retakes) and concentrate on the writing challenges. It took me a while to find a story to tell, and once again I cheated. I am telling a story my brother tells, he is a much better story-teller than I am.

  13. Posted July 24, 2006 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Lorelle, for this wonderful blog. It is the essense of why I blog…and I think that the mind refreshing hints are excellent. I am 73 years old and want to leave a written legacy for my children…but I have gained so much more by blogging. I hope I can keep it up for a long time. Regards. Ginnie

  14. Jack V. Castro
    Posted September 26, 2006 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Friends, family, and business associates have told me time and time again to write my life story of: How did I get from JFK in April, 1965, uneducated and penniless, to the largest conference room in de USDOJ, in front of US Attorneys, federal judges, and senators, to present my own litigation software, to help the government recover billions of dollars in defaulted Student loans, in 1985. After an entire day of presentations, the DOJ selected my solution.

    This event was widely publicized as a major accomplishment, since this software was the only one of its kind proven and working successfully in many Attorney’s offices. Wall Street took my company public, and when the market crushed in 1987, they walked away from me and my company, thus killing the company, and my having attained the American Dream.

    Years later, the system was still in successful operation in 12 US Districts, Raytheon called me to give them the rights to offer the system, with new modifications for use in the rest of the country. I did, and when Raytheon was ready to present the Proposal, they made a mistake in the Legal language, and again my high hopes were dashed, the proposal was rejected because of a technicality.

    My background is also interesting since I was born in Paris after the liberation of France, from Holocaust Survivors, and much more after emigrating to Argentina, and then eventually to the USA.

    Everything I did was without any education, just trial and error on my own. Can this be turned into an interesting biography?????

  15. Posted September 26, 2006 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The challenge was to tell a story from your life. Any story can be a story, and if you want to consider writing about your life, start with one story and see how it goes.

    Working on transcribing tons of short stories, poems, and books by relatives about their lives recently, I’ve uncovered two important points when it comes to biographies. One, people must share their stories with others because that’s part of who they are. They are storytellers. Whether they are written or told, they want to tell their stories.

    Two, many biographies are written not because the person wanted their story told but because others thought their stories worth telling and sharing.

    Combining the two, if you are a storyteller, the odds are that it is easy to tell your story. If you aren’t a storyteller, then maybe what others are telling you about your life makes your story valuable to others. In the latter, I recommend you find someone who understands storytelling and writing to help you tell your story, unless you are a very good writer and willing to dig into your life to uncover the truths and lies that will help others learn more about how to live, not just how you lived.

    It’s up to you to decide and do the work if you want your story told.

  16. Posted April 26, 2007 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Storytelling is a vitally important skill and not enough emphasis is placed upon it in any of the leading educational systems. Stories play an important role in child development and I believe that parents should be encouraged to improve their story telling skills.

  17. Posted August 6, 2007 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Man, it really is hard to express our experience in life in this blogging challenge. I guess I have to gather my strenght first.

  18. Posted August 26, 2007 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Blogging has change my life entirely. People who create this blogging things should get the credit for this.

  19. antonis hontzeas
    Posted October 12, 2007 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    My latest post is dedicated to someone that left a long lasting impression on me, but that unfortunately passed away….

  20. Posted October 12, 2007 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Well Lorelle, I did take up your challenge and wrote on my blog a past event that completely changed (wrecked) my life. I’m not even done yet. Here is part one: My Experience with FBI, CIA, and…

  21. Posted October 27, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I wrote a personal story. Then I saved it. Now, I can’t find it!

    Help! Where do I look for it, now?

    I found it once, went to add new categories, and ‘poof’ now the page has disappeared!

    Technically challenged here, maybe?
    :)

    Thank you, for help!!! (In advance)

  22. Posted October 27, 2007 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I find the story and published it, too.

    whew!

    I love the challenges of ‘navigating’ through new sites!

    (not) :)

  23. Posted February 15, 2008 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Yes, writing about your experiences is particularly fun and “relieving”.

  24. Posted June 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I have always been blessed with the ability to communicate. My mother God,rest her soul, always thought I would be the next Billy Graham. I enjoy to many of life’s vices for that, but I do really enjoy helping young elementary students learn how to make better life choices.


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