March 30, 2016

Story-telling Masterclass from Wentworth Miller

Perhaps this struck a chord with recent family events but Linzi found this yesterday on Facebook.

Wentworth Miller

If you don’t recognise him Wentworth Miller played the lead role in the series Prison Break.

This was Wentworth Miller’s response:

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.

This one, however, stands out from the rest.

In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I was suicidal.

This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about.

But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.

Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.

I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.

In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.

And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.

One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.

My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.

In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.

Long story short, I survived.

So do those pictures.

I’m glad.

Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.

Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.

Anyway. Still. Despite.

The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.

Of myself and others.

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M. ‪#‎koalas‬ ‪#‎inneractivist‬ ‪#‎prisonbroken‬

Isn’t that great?

It struck a chord with me not only because of the message but also because it’s a brilliantly crafted story. The elements we have been talking about in our story-telling work group are all there.

The story has ups and downs. (Mostly a major down then an up towards the end). It is laced with intrigue. The structure is good – short punchy sentences and varied paragraph length. You can almost hear the mental chatter going on in his head.

I also found it easy to identify a clear ‘one idea’ from the story, which for me was persistence.

If you would like to write better emails I’m running a webinar next Friday, called “The Nurture Email Production Process: How To Avoid Writer’s Block”. I’ll be explaining the process that my work group students are following to produce story-based nurture emails.

If you would like to join us you can register here. There will be a recording if you cannot join us live.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.

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