The Importance of Stories: Meeting Kim Weitkamp

I think it’s safe to say that, as a large group of bloggers, we take telling stories seriously.  Because what is a blog without them?  Sure, blogs can have information, pictures, recipes, other stuff.  But throw in even a dash of a story and that information, those pictures and recipes, become even better.

During RootsTech 2013 I had the great opportunity to hang out with my favorite story teller, Kim Weitkamp.  The stories that flow from her mouth remind of me of Willy Wonka’s chocolate river – they’re sweet, rich, and smooth.  She impresses me because the same exact story would trip out of my mouth like a newborn goat.  Real story telling is an art.

Sadly we can’t all be gifted story tellers.  But does that mean we should just keep our mouths (or blogs, depending on if you’re a writer or a talker) shut?  Absolutely not.  And here’s why:

1- We all have a story to tell. 
In fact, we each probably have more like a million stories to tell.  And those stories are important.  Not just for us to validate our views and opinions, but for our families and friends, and future generations that will devour every word you’ve ever said or written just to get to know you.

2- We’ve been commanded to keep a journal.
“Commanded” is a pretty strong word – but you know it has been “strongly suggested” by multiple prophets and general authorities of the Church to keep a record of our lives.  And a journal is nothing more than the stories of our lives.  Write them by hand, type them on a blog, or record yourself speaking.  It’s all journaling.  And it’s all story telling.

3- Stories can be healing.
Kim Weitkamp told me that the number one reason she loves stories is because they heal people.  The journey of telling a story can heal a lifetime of hurt.  And not just for the story teller, but also for those who listen or read that story.  Not every story is going to be monumental, but each time you share or listen to one it’s going to have an affect on you.

So let’s keep telling stories.  Post them on blogs, tell them at dinner parties, yell them from the rooftops!  And don’t feel bad if you’re a little like me (an awkward newborn goat), because even my stories deserve to be told.

Kim Weitkamp gave a great workshop during RootsTech 2013 in the Story at Home track, and it’s online, free to watch!  It’s called “Tell it Again”, it’s only a few minutes long, and Kim has some great tips on becoming a better storyteller.  It’s totally worth watching:

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