When I was on the adjunct faculty of the Michigan State University School of Journalism, I had a newswriting exercise for students just starting in the field.
The assignment was to interview a class member and then write a news story about the information they were able to get during an interview.
During the three hour evening class, I tried to drill into their head that everybody has an interesting story to tell about their life. It was just a matter of taking the time and interest to find it. My students did not disappoint me.
I still remember the story about a female student from New York City who had been born in the backseat of a taxi cab. Then there was the student who told this amazing story about how she was the reigning Miss Michigan and was getting ready to be part of the Miss America Pageant.
As they heard about the individuals in their class, students were transfixed by their fellow students and what they had experienced in life.
My experience with the class really connects to this Donald Miller quote about stories:
"Never underestimate the power of one great story."
This is from his Facebook page a few days ago. He's the author of Blue Like Jazz, a New York Times bestseller from a few years ago. It was recently released as a movie. It's a story about his life and it has connected with thousands who are his age.
Does your story have power? How about mine? Can mine help some readers gain insights about themselves or others they care about?
Do I have the skills to tell it?
I'm anxious to see.