One of my favorite exercises to use while teaching storytelling is the 100-word life story, not 120 words, or 93 words; 100 words exactly to tell your life story.
This exercise forces brevity, and what you choose to focus on in 100 words brings to the surface what you think is important.
Here’s one version of a 100-word story for my life I wrote today.
Birth, abandonment, adoption. A mother’s love, a brother’s abuse, and a father who was a stranger living in the same house. His final days were the closest I’d ever gotten to him. I married then divorced, living everyone’s expectations for my life. I experienced life on stage in Chicago, making things up and a fourteen-year relationship with few bumps that ended abruptly. I found home in LA. My dog Tori taught me to ask for what I want. I wrote my birth mother and heard silence as the response. Leaving a legacy of lives impacted with every conversation I have.
I had so much fun with that one that I turned around and wrote another one right after.
Raised in a home where I didn’t always feel safe, friends Kristy and Terri became my security. Reading the book Power of Positive Thinking at age 12 changed everything for me. I realized I could change my circumstances. And I did. I worked through school, moved up the ladder at work, bought a home only to realize my soul was dying. When I asked what would make me happy, I found myself in LA. I needed the sun, my dog, friends, having impact on others and learning to experiment with life, now creating my future with every thought I choose.
If you only had 100 words to tell your story, what words would you choose?
I dare you to give it a try. And if you do send a copy my way, I’d love to read it and share it on my website.