Saturday, July 7, 2018

How Can I Tell My Story?

By Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I love watching the expressions on people’s faces when I tell them I’m a writer. Most people have heard of such people but have never knowingly met one. Usually there’s acknowledgement, sometimes they ask questions, and, occasionally, they will stop and say, “You know, I’ve thought about writing. How can I tell my story?”

We all have stories, either something we’ve done, somewhere we’ve been, or someone we knew, that we would like to share with others. Most of the time, we just carry them in our hearts, (Thank you, Mary.) but there are some stories that stand out to us.

So, how should I share my story?

We have many ways we can use to tell our stories.

Some, writing an article newspaper or magazine, or writing a blog post may take a few hours or days to write and it can be published in a few months. Although you want to do your best, there’s not necessarily a big learning curve or time investment. 

Not only does an article take much less time to write, a magazine will likely get many more readers than your book. A good book sells like 3000 copies, and most sell a lot less. Guidepost reaches 300,000 subscribers and some magazines have reach that measure into the millions. And you didn’t have to go to one signing.

Creating a blog or writing a book can take years and requires time and effort to maintain and promote. This can easily totally change your life. Is this something you want to take on? Can you take the time from your job and family?

Let’s look at some examples of how writers picked the medium they used.

My first example is my brother. He is very extroverted and recently took a drive around our state, South Carolina, staying off the highways and sticking to the back roads. He drove a ’49 pickup he had recently bought from a neighbor of our mother and originally belonged to an uncle who passed away many years ago. The truck had no power brakes, no power steering, no windshield wipers (a big oops), and, as they learned when they got on the road, a faulty gas gauge. With him rode his eighteen-year old nephew and they stopped at any roadside attractions (and gas stations) they found.

A great adventure, to be sure. But he wasn’t walking or driving across the nation nor does he have a big following (The Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins ).  He didn’t want to spend years learning the craft or business of writing and building a platform. He’d rather work on his truck. (I’d recommend getting a gas gauge.)

My recommendation to him was to look for a blog, magazine, or newspaper that wanted a local interest story. Maybe a car lover or travel magazine.

Linda Gilden has written several posts here about writing for magazines and newspapers. They are all different so find their guidelines or contact them before you submit.

Another example of someone sharing their story is Emily Colson, daughter of author and radio host Chuck Colson and a popular speaker who wrote Dancing With Max. This biography tells the story about living with her twenty-three year-old son with autism.  She covers both the highs and the lows, and how he touched those around him while shut up in his own world.

A book allowed her cover all the material she needed to share. She also had a public following willing to read her story.

Next time we’ll look at some more stories and explore why the writer chose that particular method.

Today, there are more ways than ever to share your story. If you have a story you really feel you need to share, maybe that you feel called to share, search for the best means for you. You never know whose life your story might touch.

TWEETABLESHow can I tell my story? Thoughts from @TimSuddeth on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

There many ways to tell your story, @TimSuddeth shares his thoughts on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Tim Suddeth has been published in Guideposts’ The Joy of Christmas and on He’s working on his third manuscript and looks forward to seeing his name on a cover. He is a member of ACFW and Cross n Pens. Tim’s lives in Greenville, SC with his wife, Vickie, and his happy 19-year-old autistic son, Madison.  Visit Tim at and on Facebook and Twitter. He can be also reached at


  1. Tim, this is an interesting topic. I've been attempting for what will soon be a year to generate interest in my up coming book on my author page. Well, so far I have seven (that's right count them Aunt Millie, Uncle Augustus, Cousins Bertha and Ethel, my twin sons Elmer and Mikey, and one neighbor Darla) subscribers. LOL Those are all fictitious names, but the number is correct.I know writing for magazines would help promote my page and name recognition, but I feel stuck. At least I'm doing something right? I see in our writer's groups guest blogging as well. All working together. Thank you for this encouragement.