Every once and awhile when we go out to recruit new storytellers for the Whale Tales library we hear this sort of feedback “Oh you don’t want my story, I’m not an expert or anything” or “Well, I don’t have a whole lot more to say” or “But that happened such a long time ago, why would you want that?”
The truth is the stories these people have to tell are JUST as valuable to us as any other. We created our library so that anyone, long-time researcher, first-time whale watcher, and everyone in between would have a fun and free place to share their stories, all of their stories. The Whale Takes library exists so that we can all share in an ever-growing and always-changing understanding of the cetaceans we love and that means that every story matters.
These animals are mysterious by nature. Even the best studied killer whale has still spent much more than 50% of its life hidden from researchers. A child sitting on a beach may well be the first person to spot a new humpback whale calf and we know many citizen scientists who are better able to follow the behaviour of Harbour Porpoises than their academic peers. The point is that everyone with a whale tale is an equal in our card catalogue, because everyone’s experiences are unique to them and it’s the sharing of those experiences that makes a story.
Sharing your story doesn’t have to be scary, or hard, or even very long! All we really need is the where, when, what, and what. Where and when you were and what did you see, both the type of cetacean and what it was doing. Anything else you want to add to your story is great but not necessary. Photos are fantastic but if you just didn’t have the chance to take that shot – let your words paint the picture. Share what your story means to you and don’t be afraid to personalize it.
Remember that your story matters and you’re the only one who can tell it. And we can’t wait to read it!
-The Whale Tales Family