“Y’all come around here, and listen to a story!” This I have heard. This I have said. I spent my early childhood from age 4 – 8 living in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains. When I look at my young kids, I realize how important those years are for developing your imagination. I often make up stories on the fly with my kids, too, much in the same tradition as I was raised. They love it. They love throwing in parts of the story as we go and totally changing the direction of it. It is my responsibility, as the storyteller, to somehow bring it all together at the end AND deliver a moral of some sort.
This weekend is National Storytelling Weekend. It’s always on the first weekend in October. It all started in 1973 with a highschool journalism teacher named Jimmy Neil Smith. The event began modestly in the small town of Jonesborough, Tennessee with a few dozen people sitting around on hay bales telling stories. Well, it started a storytelling revival of sorts and is now a national event drawing over 10,000 people each year and features performances by internationally-known artists. Way to go, Mr. Smith!
This weekend I challenge you try your hand at storytelling. The more you do it the better you will get at it. Oral storytelling is an art as old as people! Just imagine what everyone did when there were no books to read… They told stories! This is how legends became legends. If you can find an audience, fantastic! Seriously, even your cat will suffice when you first start out. As you create, start thinking about where the story is going. What is the point? Is there a moral? What does it teach? Is it a sweet story of about one of your fondest memories? Is it a scary story designed to make someone jump? Or, is it a good old tall tale? Try surprising your family at the dinner table with one tonight. What if you answered the mundane question of “how was your day?” with a fantastic, out of this world story that awed and delighted them all. This is how you become a revival. This is how you vitalize your creative life!
If you want to, please share your story in the comments below, or just share some of the reactions you got to your story. I’d love to hear it!
Your Creativity Coach,
For more inspiration, try watching one of the many oral histories from Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s film “Human.” Stunning.
Bonnie Kelso is the creator of The ABCs of Conscious Creating. She uses energy healing and creating exercises to connect people to their higher “creative” selves. For more information about her services read about her ACCESS! program or to schedule a consultation please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you ready to vitalize your creative life?