How to share your personal story with phlow journals
Have you ever considered using storytelling to communicate your ideas and thoughts to the world? You might not see yourself as a ‘writer’, but the reality is that every person on the planet has a unique perspective and the skills to both recognise and tell stories. If you’ve already registered, why not use storytelling to your advantage through phlow journals, and make yourself heard?
Our journals are easy to use and can be created quickly using a mixture of short paragraphs and photos. These can be either your own photos, or others found on the platform. In addition, you don’t have to have any special writing skills to make one – just your own unique perspective.
Read on for the lowdown on stories, why we love them so much, what makes a great story, and how you can use phlow journals to communicate who you are.
Why every human is able to tell stories
“Storytelling is built into the human plan” said the celebrated novelist Margaret Atwood. And this view is supported by both historical and scientific evidence. Storytelling is common to every known human culture, and it played a crucial part in our evolution as a species, too.
Scientists have revealed that the evolution of humans depended in part upon our ancestors telling stories around the fire. Oral stories were used to communicate ideas which promoted social bonding and cooperation between people – populations which practised this were more likely to survive.
The exchange that takes place between a storyteller and a listener is also one of the first things we learn to focus on as infants. There is an engaging play element to it which is fun and informative. Stories take us on a journey to another place and helps us to learn things about the world and understand language. In conclusion, our ability to recognise the patterns within a story are developed from the moment we are born.
What makes a good story
A story is a narrative: an account of a series of related events. It can be real or fictitious. It can be used to communicate a perspective or an opinion. What matters is that there’s a beginning, a middle and an end, and the reader is taken on a journey which allows them to understand a perspective or reach a conclusion.
People tend to be attracted to stories which engage our emotions. Often these involve variation and plot twists. A classic story telling model is the Hero’s Journey. In simplistic terms this involves a hero or heroine who has a calling to go an adventure or journey. Whilst doing this, they win a victory against the odds, and then come home changed or transformed.
Take a look at this example of a phlow journal, written by Eric Hawk. Through his words and photos, Eric explains how skateboarding shaped him as a person. He describes how his initial ‘call to adventure’ involved him stealing his sibling’s skateboard to try it out. He goes on to explain how the desire to skateboard led to him getting his first job, in order to pay for his own. Finally the reader learns how working hard to save up for his own skateboard gave Eric discipline and focus, and made him a better person. In conclusion, Eric is transformed into a hero simply as a result of his love for his hobby.
Why you should tell your story through phlow journals
You might ask yourself, why do people care about my story? But the truth is that everyone has a perspective, a viewpoint or an experience which is theirs and theirs alone. By sharing these we can make the world a richer and more interesting place.
By telling stories we can also build connections with others, because people love to hear stories which they can relate to. This might help us to build our social lives, for example, by giving us the confidence to become a leader within a certain community on phlow.
Take a look at My Turbulent Journey to Becoming a Planespotter by Thomas Andersson, for example. In his journal, Thomas explains how he finally decided to indulge in his love of plane spotting in his 30s, after hiding his passion for many years. His first day of plane spotting was difficult and unrewarding, but fortunately Thomas stuck with his hobby, and after five years he now proudly calls himself an AvGeek. He concludes his journal by encouraging other phlow readers to subscribe to his journal, helping to foster a community around his niche interest.
In another journal, Stacey Kaluna describes how her love and appreciation of Harry Potter helped her with her career and made her into the person she is today.
How to tell your story through phlow journals
Creating a journal is really easy. First log into phlow and go to your profile tab, then click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner and click on ‘create journal’. Give a name to your journal, click ‘submit’ and you can then start adding photos and text to it.
Photos form the foundation of every journal, and as you can’t add text without adding a photo, it should be the next step you take. There are two ways you can do this. Either upload your own photo by clicking on the large + sign at the bottom of the page, or you can add someone else’s photo to your own journal too.
To add someone else’s, search for a photo using the search icon at the bottom of the page and a relevant search term. When you see an image you like, click on the three horizontal lines at the top right corner and you will be able to ‘add to journal’.
Lastly, you will need to add text. When you’ve uploaded either your own photo or someone else’s, you will see that a text box comes up and this is where you can write a few paragraphs to start your journal off. Try and make a point per paragraph and include lots of images to guide the reader through your story journey. If you need extra help, check out our guide to phlow.
Consider using the hero journey format to make your phlow journals really interesting and engaging. Describe how you went through good times and bad to reach your perspective or achievement.
If you need inspiration, check out these journals today:
- How Yoga Saved my Spine by Jennie Kyles
- How I Turned my Passion for Star Wars into a Career by Steve Peterson
- What Does It Mean to be a True Marvel Fan by Mike Thomson