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.
All so I can help you build a strong personal brand. Because good storytelling is an important part of building your own personal brand.
I’m going to show you how to spin mundane activities & routine life situations into storytelling gold like Seinfeld by adding…
Through water cooler talk.
It takes behind the scenes to a whole other level. It’s still internet small talk (which I’ve spent years mastering), but you’re taking an everyday traditional office occurrence and using it to connect with your readers. You’re adding an extra layer of human to your business stories.
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:
Some days, I’m a skilled copy editing ninja:
- Cutting vague nouns with a katana.
- Knocking out jargon with nunchucks.
- Stabbing filler words with throwing stars.
Other days, an actual ninja would be better at my craft.
On those days, I’m not productive. So I end up focusing on a menial task like using my fingernails to pick hot glue out of my crafting bowl. (I hope my boss doesn’t catch me.)
Balance, am I right?
A vintage Corningware cereal bowl circa 1988 (with that unmistakable blue floral pattern) coated in 7 layers of dried on hot glue.
I pour piping hot water from my electric kettle into the bowl and let it soak for about 5 minutes. (Microwaving it might work better. And then I could wax my eyebrows with it. But that’s probably not a good idea.)
So I stick my fingers in the semi-scalding water and pick at the hot glue. (And finally, feel my cold hands become warm for the first time since June.)
But then I decide I need to hold the bowl at a different angle to get better leverage for peeling. (Like how I use my pen tip to get better leverage, so I can open my Coca-Cola can.)
So I dump the now lukewarm water, turn the bowl sideways, and easily peel away the hot glue.
After I finished my task and began my cleanup ritual, a piece of peeled hot glue caught my attention. It was an odd but recognizable shape. I pulled it from the pile of hot glue and saw another odd but recognizable shape.
I found myself intentionally analyzing the hot glue scraps. What could this piece be? What about that piece? What do these 3 pieces together look like?
And BOOM — suddenly, my creativity is back. I shifted my perspective and restored myself to full copy edit ninja.
I’m lucky I like myself. Otherwise, my I might fire myself.
Here’s a picture of what I think looks like a shark. Head on the left. Tail on the right.
Here’s the dissection:
Water cooler talk activity or situation — Peeling hot glue from a bowl because I’m not feeling productive.
Details — How I peel the hot glue from the bowl.
Drama — Analyzing the hot glue shapes.
Emotions — Restoring my creativity.
Here’s your prompt:
Water cooler talk activity or situation — Have you ever felt unproductive? What did you do instead of work?
Details — Give me 3 specifics about that.
Drama — Did something happen that restored your productivity?
Emotions — How did that make you feel?
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 water cooler talk other people are spinning into storytelling gold and give them some love? Use the hashtag #grumpyprompts