Storyline, An Open Letter to Attendeees!

Donald Miller

All of us involved in the conference are so grateful you came to Portland, and are even more grateful you are choosing to tell stories to the world rather than simply consume them. One thing I wasn’t expecting is to meet so many people who were in such very difficult places, still in very real pain, and yet trying to figure out how to give back to the world. I was blown away by that.

The best part of the conference was meeting and talking with all the people we’d been praying for for months. It was surreal for us. Processing our first Storyline Conference has been interesting. There are things I love about the conference, the fact that even with 500 people in the room it felt intimate, and the fact that we got to hang out in places other than the Armory. I am already wondering how we duplicate those dynamics for our next event.

We live in a world of open dialogue and I’d love your help. As I process, though, I also know the notebook needs to be made more robust, and the points need to be more clear. In addition, the story examples I use need to be more diverse. The end goal is to inspire people and equip them to live great stories, and so we want to keep getting better and better at that. We need to talk more about how some stories don’t work, and what to do when they don’t. And there needs to be much more about how it is we share agency with God when we tell our stories, and what that interaction actually looks like. As a theorist, my liability is making things practical, and while I overcame some of that in the workbook, a Grinder or Keeper would contribute a great deal more, so I will be think-tanking with them to make the tools better and better.

Lori is doing well. She’s still in Oregon but goes back to Denver soon. We will be working with her closely to help her get organized and Live a Better Story. But I also told her today, that lots of stories don’t work out. Most screenplays never get made, most books never get published. That’s just part of the process. You keep writing, you get up every day and you keep putting something on the plot, and if it doesn’t work, you start another story. In my life, about half the major stories work out. That was a point in my notes, but I rushed over it because I was running behind.

Talking to Lori today on the phone helped me understand, once again, how important each of our stories, and by that I mean our lives, actually are. Our lives set the moral compass of the people around us. If it weren’t for some of the stories my friends are telling with their lives, I’d have no guidelines for my own, no moral or creative reference with which to tell my story to God and to the world. I know that our stories matter, and if they didn’t, God wouldn’t have placed us into the epic.

I am so grateful for you and I can’t wait to hear your stories.

We are doing Storyline again, on January 23rd and 24th, and we are hoping to make it better. Would you mind telling us what you got out of it, what was helpful, and what would could do to be even more helpful? It’s terrifying putting all this online, because the natural tendency is to focus on the negative, and the feedback we got so far is overwhelmingly positive, but at the same time, we want to make the tools better and better to give real-life storytellers more and more to “live” about….

Here are very specific questions we need answers to. It would help a great deal to know:

1. Which tools in the notebook were most helpful?

2. How could the notebook be a better take-home tool to process the conference?

3. What points needed more emphasis?

4. What points were not helpful to you?

5. What ideas were confusing?

6. What was the most inspirational?

7. What was the most practical and applicable?

8. What would have made the experience better?

9. What made the experience good?

Feel free to add your own questions and of course your own answers. These are the questions we are starting to ask ourselves as we prepare for January!

Thanks so much!



Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller has been telling his story for more than a decade, now he wants to help you tell yours. He’s helped over 1,000 companies clarify their message through the StoryBrand Workshops. For an introduction to what he’s doing now, check out the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.