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The storytelling GOATs have spoken 🐐
Thank you, Lenny.
The stars aligned this week and Lenny released back-to-back storytelling podcasts interviewing Andy Raskin and then Nancy Duarte. While both are experts in the storytelling arena, they have very different styles: Nancy, a generalist with a framework-first mindset, and Andy, a B2B leader at heart and master of the sales narrative.
Instead of attempting to summarize their learnings and regurgitate their advice, I’d rather focus on a fleeting comment from the conversation with Andy. While talking about the process, he mentioned the importance of embracing and appreciating the “shit first draft” of a story. This comes from an idea shared by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:
For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something -- anything -- down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft -- you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft -- you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it's loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.
-Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
If this resonates with you, it’s because, once upon a time, you found yourself staring blankly at your laptop screen trying to get through a first draft of a pitch deck, company presentation, or even a simple email. After countless false starts, you finally put together a shit first draft. While it may not have felt good, it was the exact point at which everything started to turn up and to the right.
While absorbing Nancy and Andy’s teachings are absolutely important, it’s equally as important to remember that a good story starts as a bad story. It just takes some poking and prodding.
Raman at Rhetoric