On April 8th, local journalist Ginny Ryan came in to speak to The Eagle Express Journalism team. She shared her story and taught us about the power of emotional storytelling in Journalism. She challenged us to look within ourselves and find a defining moment or story—a moment of realization, a turning point, a revelation, something that shows how we’ve have gotten to this point in life, our identity, our journey—and write. This issue of The Eagle Express is dedicated to telling and honoring these powerful and important narratives within us.
Notes and advice from Ms. Ryan’s presentation:
“Writing and telling our stories changes the way we store information in our minds and hearts. So where to start? In the newsroom, we refer to the "big gets,” which usually means the big interview or scoop. Everyone wants the “big get” news.
Here are the big gets for your own story:
Get Uncomfortable! That might be really hard… and that’s good! I had to get uncomfortable to discover my story. The story we tell ourselves often protects us from pain— but it can also imprison you.
Be willing to Get Ugly. Don't let scars scare you- they represent your survival. I've learned far more from my failures than wins.
Get Deeper! The stuff that makes us tick excites us or drives us isn’t always obvious. Often, it’s buried under a whole bunch of other stuff. Start peeling away those layers to get deep!
Get Quiet. Life is so noisy; mute your phone. We all have an inner voice. Many times the only way to hear our inner voice is to get quiet. What’s that inner voice really telling us? What don’t we want to hear?
Get Real! Don’t hide the truth. For me, that was the essential first step. I wasn’t being honest about my story. I wasn’t telling the right story. Once I did, it all started to make sense. This is who am, this is how I got here. Your story is your own personal legend. Don’t be afraid to be real. Share your feelings— don’t bury the emotion—because therein lies the connection to the reader or listener.
You feel it. They feel it. And they will remember. That is yours and yours alone and it cuts to the heart of authenticity.”
-Ginny Ryan, April 2021