I’ve paused my creative projects due to life. That is, I’m not writing daily or podcasting. I had to stop all of it.
I hit a wall. You know what it’s like. We’ve all hit a few bricks in our lifetime. Something happens and it makes us stop, and reconsider everything.
So … I’m creatively on pause, which is turning into a creative stewing period, which could be a good thing, or not. We’ll see.
After all, some stews don’t taste that good in the end, no matter how long they’ve simmered.
Anyway, during this pause, I’m giving myself license to explore anything that takes my interest.
I got to thinking about origin stories. First, because if I complete the trilogy I’m working on, an origin story would be a great gift to give readers for free. Second, because they say part of a strong author brand is having a compelling origin story.
What is an Origin Story?
It’s the Adam & Eve tale that explains how a character or world began. For example, comic book stories all have origin stories. Think Superman and Spiderman. Knowing where a character or storyline starts helps sell the character. Typically they are stories about an underdog gaining superpowers.
Why Create a Personal Origin Story?
Readers or consumers of your product want to know where you came from and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Consider:
Google was… two Stanford nerds in a dorm room with pizza and an algorithm. (Michael Magolis)
In the past, when I read advice about creating my own origin story to sell myself, I blanched. My mind rattled. No one wants to know about me, not little old me. I’m really not that interesting and I don’t want to create a superwoman story to hide behind. No one likes selling themselves.
Fast forward to my stew. … I found interesting information on origin stories. In Michael Magolis’s blog post, What Every Innovator Needs to Master: The Origin Story, he details how to find the super-hero within you.
“TAKE 10 MINUTES TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND YOU’LL START CRACKING THE CODE:
- What is it in you, your family or your history that led you to create, build or master your business, product, cause or mission? What are your roots—the lineage or path—you come from?
- What are your motivations for why you do what you do? Are your motivations genuine, and pure? How can you prove it? (Think empathy and vulnerability.)
- What are you willing to fight for? And why is this personal to you? (The secret is you are doing this so others don’t have to struggle with the same pain.)
- Who exactly are your doing this for? Why will they give a shit?
- What is it about your life experience that gave you the wisdom and perspective to know you can come up with something different or better?
Despite bringing a message of transformation, you must anchor your message in the past, with something familiar, that we can all identify with and relate to.
Your origins are the foundation for any innovation story. Your roots. Your strength. Your core credibility. Make sure you’re choosing fertile soil for your story to grow and ripen.”
Do I Have a Origin Story?
Not yet, but this questionnaire intrigues me. It helps me see I could write one.
Maybe I’ll take time out of my stew to write one. I’ll let you know. Simply answering the questions above I can say:
- My parents were good, caring people who turned to alcohol to deal with life, but the alcohol gave them more grief. From a young age, I felt there had to be better ways to manage the ups and downs of being human. I chose a creative life. To me, that sounds like a bland start for an origin story, but it is my motivation.
- I hope my stories entertain my readers, and connect with them on a deep level, elevating them from the daily grind.
- I want to show that love (for oneself and for others) conquers all.
- I write for women over 50, who will care about my stories because they will see themselves in them.
- Like my readers, I’m a survivor.
How about you? Do you have an origin story? Do you feel you want/need one?
graphics from Pixabay.com