I’ve been thinking about the power of narrative for DIY musicians: we all need to be tuned in to stories.Essentially, readers need to care about a character (the “you” in your bio, press release, or grant proposal).To help us care, we need a compelling anecdote from your life story. What is your core “story”?
Maybe it’s how and why you champion a certain composer’s music, or how you fell in love with music in the first place, or how you’ve overcome a career-threatening obstacle. The point of the story is to reveal what motivates you: the WHY behind what you do.
How can you mine your background for narrative material for your self-promotion materials?
To help, this is from TED Ed on narrative for journalists (that smart DIY musicians can translate for an approach to their own bios). It focuses on the reporter using three types of sources.And as a DIY artist, you can do this, too—include the detailed facts of your credentials, the big picture overview of who you are and what you’re interested in, and the WHY of your own insight and motivations. Here’s the 3 minute animated short video.
And, for fun, here’s a 2 minute story (told by film director Peter Bogdanovich): it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Elevator Story. It illustrates that we are all “wired” for stories and it reveals Hitchcock’s motivation: he loved to play with people’s appetite for suspense (and he loved practical jokes!)
Questions for the week: What’s your story line? Is what motivates you in your bio? Think about it in terms of stating what you’re fascinated by or obsessed with—be specific.
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Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!