Writing your story for SUCCESS

How To Write Your Story For SUCCESS

So you've decided you want to write your story for the SUCCESS website. Let me start by saying thank you –by sharing your story online you can make a real difference to someone's life. By adding to the library of personal stories, you are sharing your knowledge and experiences with a community, from the newly diagnosed to those of us with years of experience. We can all keep learning from each other.

So while this task may seem daunting, your words mean a lot to us, so here are some writing tips and advice.

Step 1 – Planning

As with any piece of writing, planning in advance can really help your story come together.

Start by thinking about your overall objective: do you want to inform, educate, amuse, inspire? By picking the tone at this early stage, you can create a solid foundation to pick up on as you start writing.

Next, consider how your story is unique. We would love you to show off your individuality and personality in your writing. Pick out key moments and events that you want to mention, so you can build a list of ideas to include.

Lastly, think about the structure of your piece. It's probably easiest to write similarly to how you speak, but if you want to include some advice or tips you might prefer to use bullet points, or if you are listing events you could number them to make it easier to follow.

Once you have all your ideas in one place you are ready to start the next step….

Step 2 – Writing

Actually writing your story might seem quite hard, but once you get started you may find you really get into it and start enjoying yourself. Just take it one bit at a time, step by step.

Start with an introduction – this is your chance to make an impact on the reader. You may wish to start by introducing yourself, or with an early memory, a meaningful quote or a joke. Try to pick something that matches your overall objective – if you aim to amuse, start with humour; if you intend to inform, maybe start with a fact. Whatever you choose, use this as a platform to launch into your story.

The middle section of your story can be whatever you want it to be. It might be easier to explain events chronologically, taking the reader all the way through from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. (But remember to focus largely on life after cure). This will probably be the longest part of your story, so feel free to use subtitles to break it up a bit for the reader. When it came to writing my story, I particularly enjoyed this section, as I loved finding out all the details by speaking to my family members. Of course you don’t have to share any information you don’t want to, and none of us are going to notice if you get a few details wrong; just tell us what you can remember, and it will all come together in the end.

Finally you come to the end of your story. Just as there were many ways to start your story, there are many ways you can end it. Tell us what you are up to nowadays, what you are looking forward to next, or what you have already achieved. Maybe you want to share your advice with a list of your key tips for life after cure. Try to keep this section upbeat – remember, you’ve already made it through that nasty middle section……


Step 3 – Reading

Before you send in your story, you might want to read through it a couple of times. Look out for any typos, repeated words or mistakes. Maybe ask a family member to read through it, so they can make amendments or suggest something else to add.

If you are still not sure that your writing is ready for our website, feel free to email it over to Monica Evason ([email protected]) SUCCESS story and blog co-ordinator. She loves to read over stories and send back suggested improvements.


While we want your story to be as unique as you are, we have a few guidelines we’d like you to bear in mind:

  • Length – keep it to around 1000 words (obviously no problem to write more than this)
  • Avoid profanity – while swear words can be expressive, try to keep your story as family friendly as possible J
  • Include photos – please send these in separate image files so we can upload them in high quality.
  • Be yourself! – this is your story after all.

Other Ways To Contribute

After writing your story, you can continue supporting the growth of the SUCCESS charity by:

  • Writing – keep writing; we always appreciate fresh new content for the website and social media accounts. Do you have any funny anecdotes or advice? Have you heard about any up to date brain tumour research? We’d love to hear about it!
  • Sharing – spread links with your friends and interact with us on Facebook & Twitter (@SUCCESS_Charity).
  • Fundraising – help raise money by holding events, bake sales, sponsored runs… The world is your oyster, be creative and most of all have fun!


Please stay in touch and continue sharing by using our hashtag #ShareYourSUCCESS!