On Friday I had an excellent day at The Story. It had been five years since my last one, but it was still recognisable as the same conference, in the very best way. I don’t have pages and pages of detailed notes for the day - it isn’t that kind of a day for me (and, having looked at my blog posts from 2012 and 2013, it never has been). It is the kind of day that I sit back and listen to, jot down a few quotes, and open tabs up on my phone browser for relevant/related things.

The lineup for The Story 21018

The main thing I took away this year was about discovering yourself by writing. Two of the speakers mentioned that they had worked personal things out through writing for others. One was writing a non-fiction book; the other was writing a character. Over the last few years, I’ve learned that the best way for me to bottom out things is to sit down with a notebook and a pen and ask myself a question. I write and write and write and at some point seem to move from the apparent and surface level to more buried thoughts and feelings. This is where I tend to find my truth, and it was reassuring to hear that it isn’t just me who unlocks things through writing!

The final talk of the day was charming. It’s hard for me to think of a conference that wouldn’t benefit from ending with Jarvis Cocker showing photographs from his school days!

Jarvis Cocker's schooldays