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  • Writer's pictureLaura Schaefer

What Can Ted Lasso Teach Us about Writing Books?

"Where is he going with this?"


Do you ever find yourself asking this question when Ted Lasso begins telling a story?


It actually doesn't matter that much if the beloved character is able to bring his point home (although generally, he does).


What *does* matter is that he commands our attention.


He gets everyone in the room asking, "Why is he telling *this* story?"


Ted is different than other people. He's a little bit goofy, a little bit folksy. Very kind.


We want to understand him a little bit better, right? We want to live in his world, because it's not perfect but it is nice.


Every time he launches into a story, we get a new chance to relate to him. To see the world through his eyes. And to -- maybe -- learn something new.


Ted's stories are showstoppers.


Whether Ted is telling his team about the origins of his famous moustache -- like he did during this week's episode -- or captivating an entire room of sports journalists during a subdued post-game press conference by sharing a moment from his childhood, Ted knows how to get quiet and gather all eyes and ears on him.


Storytelling.


It reminds me of something I read in Anne Helen Petersen's newsletter this week. She interviewed Virginia Sole-Smith, who has a new book out.


The author said something so insightful:


"My 9-year-old read the book and told me she skipped over 'all the boring parts where doctors talked or you just said stuff' and I was like, yes, that is how I also read non-fiction. We understand complex or nuanced issues best when we can locate ourselves in people’s lives, hearts and minds."


Start, then, with a story.


But only always.




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