Here’s another Blogging Challenge 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 main site, 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