children reading to one another

What is the Difference Between Storytelling and Writing

Today’s question is what is the difference between storytelling and writing?

(If you prefer audio, you can listen to this episode on the Smarter Artist Podcast)

Well, not to be incredibly obvious about this, but writing is writing and storytelling is telling stories, which is probably not very helpful.


This is actually something that I find myself making this distinction all the time when I’m describing what it is that I do, or telling people about what it is that I do, or just thinking of myself in general.

I think that right now I would think of myself as a writer, but I’m trying to say I’m not just a writer, and I don’t want to be just a writer. I want to be a storyteller.

So I think it’s important to ask yourself do you enjoy and are you finding enough satisfaction and benefit and business sense and all that stuff from writing, sufficient that that can be all that you do, that that’s all you want to do.

man smoking pipe at typewriterOr are you somebody who really just wants to tell stories in various formats?

Some people are writers, they’re born writers.

They like sitting down with a pen and paper, or a keyboard, and they just like moving their fingers and creating a book.

That’s the format that they like. They like the idea of writing.

I do like writing. I like it a lot.

But more globally, I like storytelling. I like the sort of casual storytelling that we do, just on our podcasts. We’re telling the story of our business through this podcast.

When I’m on stage at something like the Smarter Artist Summit, I like telling those stories.

I want to write and direct movies. That’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.

I have no artistic talent in the realm of graphic novels, but I would love to see something translated and work with a graphic artist to begin making our stuff into graphic novels.

I’m not a big video game player, but that’s very intriguing to me as well.

I want to tell stories in all these different formats, both fiction and non-fiction.

2 kids dressed as pirates reading a bookAnd that’s the question you have to begin asking yourself. Am I truly a writer or am I storyteller?

And there’s no right answer to that.

I’m not implying that storytelling is better, or if you’re a writer you should think of yourself as a storyteller. I’m not saying that at all.

Just something to consider.

So, is it that you want to write, or is writing just the vehicle that you currently use because you want to tell stories?

So, keeping that in mind as you move forward should help you make those critical decisions when you have to choose between to choose a path. Good luck. Happy storytelling or writing.

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