Only You Can Tell Your Story
Only You Can Tell Your Story

Have some encouragement today, writer: Only you can tell your story the way it needs to be told.

#1: Writing is weird.

Writing is a strange thing to do to ourselves.

It can be lonely. It creates emotional roller-coasters and storms and dry spots. It means dealing with crazy-makers and the wounds of self-doubt, and fencing with discouragement both from without and within.

Seriously, who in heck would ever put themselves willingly through this?

Well, you (and me). Why? Because you have something to say. The only person who can tell your story is you.

#2: Writing is Worth the Struggle

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
-Neil Gaiman

You have a story inside you.

You already know that, or you wouldn’t be here. You want to write; you have been writing, maybe, or you’re planning to write. Whatever stage you’re in, you feel the drive like some magical compulsion, and no matter what you’ve been through, it won’t go away.

#3: Tell Your Story as Only You Can

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”
—Charles de Lint

Your story may take the form of a novel, or short stories, a play, a poem, or a film. The point is, it’s words, and yes, your gut instinct is right: you do need to share them.

The story that drives you, that won’t let you go? You need to tell it. The story that scares you, that seems too big to write? You can tell it—you just need to learn how.

#4: Your Story Needs to be Told

“No one else can dance your dance. No one else can sing your song. No one else can write your story.”
—Lisa Nichols

The story that your well-meaning friend said sounds just like some-other-story already out there? It still needs to be told. There are only seven basic plots in the world anyway, or so they say. Your story still needs to be told.

#5: Don’t be afraid.

“No one else has the same story as you. It’s as unique as you are. And no one can tell it like you can.”
—Julie LeFebure

Tell your story.

Keep working at it. Keep learning how to write.

If you need encouragement, I’m more than happy to talk with you about it. If you need feedback on a story idea, I’m willing to dialogue about it. We’re in this together! Leave a comment or send me an email.

Write your story.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.