I am fascinated by stories and by storytelling and I seek them out wherever I go.
When I meet new people I ask lots of questions … about who they are, where they are from, about their family and where they grew up. And the more questions I ask the more intrigued I become. But this is not true of all people … some of us are shy, or reserved, or just not comfortable in telling our stories.
And when you meet someone with a blog, whether online or off, one of the first things you do is take a look around. As with most things, first impressions count … what do they say, where do they hang out (who is on their blogroll), what are their interests, pet peeves or passions? In many ways you are walking around their neighbourhoods.
When I first met Paul I was impressed with his writing and his frankness. I was amazed at how he would seem to carelessly throw his words around only to find them hanging suspiciously with great ideas. And I loved his sequencing … like a storyboard — with pictures, art and ideas meshing to multiply meaning.
There are many aspects of Paul’s storytelling style that mark him out from the rest of us amateurs. He disarms his readers quickly, with sincerity and simplicity, he invites us into his story and flatters us with words and battered eyelids. And he slaps us, wakes us and cajoles us … and if that doesn’t work … shames us, into listening, swallowing and acting upon the ideas he gives away for free.
He has many great examples of this over at his blog … but if you haven’t seen it yet, Paul has an article over at BMA. He may not always be walking up Madison Avenue, but a tour of Paul Street is one you will come back to again and again. Congrats Smartypants!