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On telling real stories

by Tom Johnson on Jun 21, 2011 •
categories: family

All my children are enamored with stories. If you're telling a good story, they will sit patiently for anything. I believe I could brush their teeth for a half hour as long as they were gripped by the story I was telling them.

Tonight I told Callie stories about everything -- how I started the lawnmower, how I got my job in Egypt, how we decided to move to Utah. I told her how Avery was a baby when 9/11 happened, and what 9/11 was all about.

In telling these stories, I realized a certain irony about my blog -- though I'm a prolific blogger, the most important stories, I never write. The real stories, I never tell. I hide behind the mask of professional writing. I hide behind the "safe yet interesting to some other professionals" topics. Meanwhile the stories that matter, that grip my children into a curious, serious trance, that have actual significance for me, I never tell.

This is what this personal blog is all about -- it's about telling the real stories of my life, and the made-up stories as well.

The writing may be sloppy and unstructured. That's okay, as I'm not so much focusing on the ideas as much as the stories.

The stories may be spiritual, or daddy stories, or husband stories. But I promise that they will be the real stories.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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