For the love of short stories

Av Nicole Wolf | Unsplash

It was supposed to be the name of my podcast. I had just had the biggest aha-moment in shaping my writing career, and you know how it goes, when something feels so right, it has to be life-changing, doesn’t it?

In Norwegian, get ready to be confused, a short story is called a novella and a novella is called a roman. Confused yet? Well, in hindsight, I think I was as I was learning this in my teenage years. Now, thirty years later, and a few years in establishing myself as a writer, I came across a series on Prime Video based on the weekly column in the New York Times called Modern Love.

I watched over four weekend mornings, eight episodes with stories about relationships and love, which moved me and had me contemplating my own relationships, including the one with myself. I skipped the Kleenex box and went for the sheets of kitchen wipes and felt great after the emotional cleanse these stories provided. It got me thinking about the format.

With a short story we are invited to a situation and it feels more intimate than a full length movie or novella (in the English meaning) and it dawned on me: this is the format I have been looking for!

Immediately I started to research the format and was reassured that I was on the right track. I noticed that short stories are not the hot topic that it should be in my opinion. I really think that short stories will increase in popularity in the coming years and you heard it here first!

Finding my love for short stories was the nudge I needed to find a format for the podcast I wanted to create. As I was creating the thumbnail for the show, I kept writing storytelling instead of short stories and then (yes, this really happened) I had a flash of episodes of my own life where I celebrated storytelling, not only in writing and in moving pictures, but also in still pictures, music, commercials and company branding. I see stories everywhere! So of course, I made a podcast about storytelling, where I can include my love of short stories.

Had I not pursued the excitement I felt, I probably wouldn’t be creating my sixth show in six days. Yes, it is a daily podcast. Why? Because I love talking about storytelling!

You might be walking around right now, reading this or listening to this episode, with a purpose in mind constantly knocking on your creative door, asking to be let in, that you are not pursuing because you haven’t found the right angle to approach it. Don’t give up, look at it again from a different angle, research it more and enjoy it as much as you can. Then suddenly you too will find what excites you about the field of creation you are dipping your toe in.

I have found the purpose I was looking for and a topic I never tire talking about. Because I do have a love for storytelling and it doesn’t have to be perfect, by any means. I miss the conversation about storytelling. Instead, we get cultural elitists looking for life-altering complicated stories. No thank you.

I am inviting you to a conversation about storytelling with room for everyone where we are looking for the entertainment value, the rhythm and the ingenious take on a topic one might otherwise find boring. It is a celebration of an artform which very well without it, we might not have survived this planet.

This text is taken from the sixth episode of my daily podcast series called “For the Love of Storytelling”. Get your daily dose of love for storytelling here:

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