Reminder — For the next 12 weeks, I’m:
- Sharing my Instagram storytelling secrets with you.
- Giving you 12 Instagram Story-Writing Prompts.
- And training you to tell better stories.
Personal stories get more engagement than any other Instagram post. They’re the equivalent of internet small talk. And I’ve spent years mastering this skill.
I spin mundane activities & routine life situations into storytelling gold like Seinfeld.
I make these humdrum stories exciting for my readers by adding…
How this Instagram training will work:
- I’ll tell a story.
- I’ll dissect it.
- I’ll give you a prompt.
You’ll fill in the blanks and spin storytelling gold.
Ready? Here’s my story:
Every year, for my niece and nephew’s birthdays, I give them handmade cards. (I’m not cheap, promise.)
This year, I set a new auntie standard — the cards match the presents.
For example: My nephew likes Marshall from Paw Patrol. He’s a cartoon firefighting dalmatian pup.
So I bought him firefighter essentials including an extinguisher backpack that’s actually a squirt gun. It holds about a gallon of water and can squirt 30 feet.
Naturally, the card I made was a fire truck.
I have a knack for creating these cards:
First, I Google fire truck pictures — and find just the right combination of artistic aesthetic and childhood whimsey.
Second, I analyze the shapes that make up a fire truck — and decipher rectangles, squares & circles.
Third, I eyeball it to scale — and approximate the dimensions so the fire truck looks properly proportioned.
I do this all without measuring. I’d like to thank my geometry teacher for this talent. But I’m sure I learned it from eating pizza. (I can spot the difference between a 14 inch round and 16 inch round from across the room.)
After I’ve cut the shapes out of poster board, the assembling fun begins:
I paint all the shapes & inadvertently, half of my left hand. (At least it wasn’t my shoes.)
I superglue the shapes to build the fire truck & inadvertently, 6-7 fingertips. (At least it wasn’t my shoes.)
I embellish the assembled fire truck & inadvertently, end up with marker on my tattoos. (At least it wasn’t my shoes.)
Once I’m finished creating the card, I add my signature (“An AA Original”) to the back. And carefully transport the handmade card to the party. (It’s the superglue strength test.)
Only then do I realize the fire truck is almost as big as my nephew.
Next time, I’ll have to measure him.
Here’s the dissection:
Mundane activity & routine life situation — Homemade birthday cards for my niece and nephew.
Details — Creating the cards. Everything from finding the right design reference to painting and gluing.
Drama — The card being almost as big as my nephew.
Emotions — At least I saved my shoes.
Here’s your prompt:
Mundane activity & routine life situation — Do you do anything special for your loved ones on their birthdays? Or do you go above and beyond for your loved ones on special occasions? Tell me all about it.
Details — Tell me what you do that’s special or how you went above and beyond to show your love. Give me at least 3 steps involved in going above and beyond.
Drama — Does your gesture of love turn out as you expected? Tell me why or why not.
Emotions — Do you have any collateral damage to deal with?
Now it’s your turn:
- Fill out the prompt.
- Snap a picture.
- And share your story on Instagram.
Feeling extra share-y? Tag me on Instagram. I promise to love & comment on your post. Because I know it’ll be storytelling gold.
Wanna see what mundane activities & routine life situations other people are spinning into storytelling gold and give them some love? Use the hashtag #grumpyprompts