Ten years ago I spent all my spare time curled up on my couch with a book, escaping into someone else’s story.
These days I usually pass those precious minutes staring into the lit screen of my phone, but I still looking for a story to escape into.
Since diving into the internet world head first as a blogger, I have read a lot of blogs. Thousands of websites have caught my attention for a minute. Or for an hour.
But usually I click away never to return again.
However, some blogs make me want to stick around. They leave me wanting more. Every once in a while, I land somewhere and willingly type my email address into the little box so that I can get every post delivered to my inbox.
And I have noticed that the bloggers that I really want to follow, the ones I return to over and over again, have something in common.
The common factor is not a great website design.
It’s not a clever opt-in gift. (“Subscribe to my blog and get my eBook”)
It’s not that the blogger is really excellent with social media.
The thing that makes me want to subscribe to someone’s website is the same thing that keeps me on the couch with a book.
I want to stick around because the writer is telling me a great story.
And I want to hear more of that story.
I want to be taken outside of my world for one magical moment.
And so I come back. Again and again.
Being a reader of stories and blogs has made me want to be a better storyteller.
And not just with my blog, but with my life.
Donald Miller wrote a great book about telling better stories with your life called A Million Miles in A Thousand Years, and Donald has this friend Bob, who is living an incredible story and so he asks him what his secret is and here’s what he tells him:
Then he defines whimsy as “that nagging feeling that life could be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks.”
I find that if I embrace whimsy and do not give in to fear that I have greater stories to write about on my blog.
Sometimes they just happen, like the time I unknowingly attended a one-man monologue.
Sometimes I have to plan and make them happen, like the month I walked across a small country.
But either way, I try to begin and end my days by paying attention and watching for the events in life that amaze me.
Then I write them down.
Because I know that I am not the only one who loves to hear a good story.
Alison Chino moved over a year ago from Arkansas to live in Scotland, where she is learning to walk everywhere and live with tiny appliances. She needs to be outside more than the average human being, so she has learned to carry rain gear. She regularly shares what she’s learned about blogging over at Arkansas Women Bloggers. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.