Today we’d like to introduce you to Kalynn Fuller.
Hi Kalynn, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born a storyteller. From preschool to high school, I danced through musical narratives, expressing every emotion. My storytelling format then moved to photography and spoken word poetry my senior year of high school. Proclaiming poetry then led me to writing my self-published book with my bestie in 2017. And when college began, I created a blog and turned my direction into sharing travel experiences, short stories, and my life reflections. It didn’t matter to me what facet the story was going into growing up. What did matter was that I was putting my life fodder into some kind of story showcase. A strong part of storytelling, I’m finding, is that it is also important to be inspired through storylistening. I can’t tell a good story without listening to a good one first. Whether this came through observing my uncle create art and home movies in Michigan or learning from my favorite creative writing teachers and professors in Wisconsin and Minnesota… These people have inspired me to continue to share a narrative no matter where my feet stand. With each inspirational connection and creative facet, all of them have combined into a beautiful kaleidoscope that is now my current life in the South Bay. I have pointed my storytelling towards my website and make sure everyday to be both the storylistener and the storyteller with whoever crosses my path.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
With a smooth road comes little creativity. The journey to building my website has not been an easy road but has been a worthwhile adventure to say the least. (And I know my website is not close to a perfect destination, but it is getting there.) Some of the struggles when it comes to sharing stories and up-keeping a website are creative blocks, confusing payment plans, dysfunctional domains, a big black curtain of self-doubt (as my past professor likes to say), and the infuriating f-word… fear. With all of the hoops to jump through, it all is certainly worth it for an ounce of connection from a reader in the comment section. Hearing that my work and stories inspire others (even just a little) after I just shared about something that has inspired me makes the whole creative cycle go round. And I do not think that the creative cycle would properly function without a bumpy road of struggle, all producing more stories to share.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a storyteller and a storylistener. I write on my website, and I post my travel photos on my Instagram. I also love to meet anyone and everyone to hear their stories. That’s why a lot of my work blends into my day-to-day life. It is a lot of saying yes to new adventures, to feeling influenced to write a story about what I experienced or observed, and then inspiring a reader to go out and live life fully. Although I am only twenty-one and my website has not been up for very long, I am proud to pursue a passion that is communal. My work would not be effective alone. I love this sense of community that has been built around storytelling and storylistening. There is always an abundance of new things to learn and new perspectives to obtain from each comment or private message someone shares with me after reading my writing or listening to my stories.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
If you are just starting out, write/tell stories everyday, get inspired, keep reading from other writers, and overall just keep going. The second we allow our writer’s block, self-doubt, and/or fear get in the way is the second we let potential fade away. (I have fallen into the trap of self-doubt before, and it caused me to go months without sharing a story). Keep going, my friend. Need some book/author recommendations? – Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need by Margot Leitman – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – Austin Kleon (all of his books are phenomenal) As for something I wish I knew when I first started: do some solid research about the platform you want to share on before jumping onto it. I finally have my website (sort-of) where I want it, but it took me many hoops to jump through because I didn’t do proper research before starting.
Personal Photo Credit: Jolie Dirksen