And for as often as I read people making the connection between good storytelling and good branding, I'm surprised that they do so only with their content and rarely with their form. Yes, these are blog posts and meant to be a somewhat free-form reaction to things in our industry. And God knows I heavily utilize that structural freedom. But on the other hand, when bloggers apply the very tools they tout for their clients to their own writing, the effect is powerful.
Three industry bloggers stand out to me as great examples of this. They tell good stories about how to tell good stories. They show personality while talking about why it's important to show personality.
Guided by the principal that what comes out of a writer is often inspired by what goes in, I asked each stand-out blogger to tell us what sort of storytelling most inspires them.
"I absolutely love reading Roger Ebert's movie reviews, and his blog. There are several dog-eared copies of his books lying around our house. My husband really got me into reading his reviews, and even though I don't always agree with his assessment, I always appreciate his point of view. The man can definitely turn a phrase, he has a wicked sense of humor and he shares so much of his experience in his reviews, I can't help but feel like I know him. Lucky for me he now has a very prolific blog and active Twitter account."
"Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck was the only book I brought with me when I got rid of all my belongings that wouldn't fit into a backpack and gym bag. His simple, matter-of-fact telling of a story that relies more on interesting characters than complicated prose stands as a constant permission for me to just write."
I love that Seth, in a mere two sentences, tells us something about himself, offers an apt analysis of a favorite author's writing style, and a mission statement regarding his time in this space—to just write. In short [very short], his form stays true to his message. His deft strokes and straightforward approach are what keep me coming back to his writing, seeking plain talk about often tough issues, and keep me leaving feeling as though someone's respected me enough to be honest.
I absolutely love great synergy, where the keystrokes follow the advice they give. If you know of any others who fit this category, please share. I can't get enough.
Jen Wright, Social Strategist who is currently making her way through the works of Thomas Hardy, as she is fascinated by writers who manage to find the pulse of social conventions with their pens.