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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Telling Stories

Telling stories is a powerful human need, closely aligned with the need to create. That lesson is continually reinforced for me, moving into high relief each time I get involved with a new writing group. What is your preferred method for telling a story?

Although people can sometimes struggle when beginning their story, if you stay focused and ask pure questions - i.e. ones for which you don't have an answer - that story often slowly emerges. What have you observed about people who struggle as their story unfolds? In my experience, the quieter I remain after someone gets started, the deeper the storyteller goes.

Sports and work related stories can act as neutral territory for those not temperamentally inclined to share personal stories. I've met few people who don't enjoy sharing stories from these domains. And even most neutral topics reveal a great deal about the storyteller. Because telling stories - topic aside - is about tapping into what is inside of us, feeling heard, creating. How many people have you met who don't want those things?  

1 comment:

  1. I am looking at my retirement plaque, dated June 7, 2006. It is one of those "Resolutions" with four statements beginning with the word "whereas" and ending with the words "well-deserved retirement". Nothing unusual until I look more closely at the final "whereas", and here it is verbatim:
    "Whereas she has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues for her diversity in music, and unique talent as a storyteller."
    Storyteller? Where did that come from? Reminds me of that idiot rhyme: "I'm a poet and I don't know it." The only stories I remember telling were in the faculty room and at social gatherings. Apparently, the district got an earful.
    Yes, I've always been straightforward. But it has puzzled me why people find me funny. Reminds me of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady asking, "What are you snickering at?"