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Articles on Artistic Creativity
Telling It Like It Is (Or Can Be)
When you hear, "tell me a story," does your mind suddenly go blank? Don't panic. The good news is, you're already a natural storyteller! Surprised? You shouldn't be. It's built right into our genetic code. Human beings are a storytelling species. Of all the creatures on Earth, we're the only ones that share past memories and future dreams as a way to get to know others, build friendships, plan an endeavor, inspire a group.
In fact, we're usually telling ourselves some kind of story all the time - about our job, a relationship, the kids, neighbors down the street, our next vacation. You name it, and we're probably making up a story about it!
So, with all that creativity just naturally flowing, the secret is how to channel it into crafting a story that's interesting and fun for others to hear.
How, in other words, do you go from being a "natural" storyteller to being a good one? Here are 10 tips that will get you started in the right direction.
1. Know your audience. Do you want to tell stories to your kids? Your grandchildren? Your child's third-grade class? Co-workers? Family friends? The charming participation stories that enchant children may seem patronizing or insulting to a group of adults.
2. Choose a story you genuinely like. It could be a traditional folk tale or fairy story. A historical tale. A personal story. The most important thing is that you really like it. It doesn't matter how exciting a story might be or how well you tell it; if you really don't care about it, your audience will be bored too. Guaranteed.
3. Keep it short. A good story doesn't have to be long and elaborate. Especially when you're just starting out, it's much easier to practice and polish a piece that's only 4-5 minutes long.
4. Find out what the story is really about. Why do you want to tell this particular story? What does it mean to you? The exact same story may mean something different to every teller. That's fine. When you discover what the "heart" of the story is for you, you'll automatically find the passion and life in it.
5. Tear it down to the bare bones. Particularly if you're starting with a written text, read the story over a couple of times to get the basic outline, and then lay the book aside. See what you remember when you simply tell it. These points will become the foundation for rebuilding the story using your own creativity.
6. Know where you're going. Make sure you have a beginning, middle and end for your story. A good storyteller never makes the audience nervous that they (and you) are lost.
7. Practice out loud. Get in the habit of talking to yourself. You can never become a good storyteller by telling the story in your head, no matter how many times you practice. Tell the story in your car while commuting to work. Tell it in the shower. Tell it to your dog (pets tend to make quite good listeners, by the way). Tell your story over and over until you're as comfortable in it as you are in your favorite jeans.
8. Find your own voice. Listen to other storytellers to hear different styles of telling: flamboyant...quiet...dramatic...quirky...laid back...funny...serious. The list could go on and on. Notice which tellers appeal to you and which ones don't. There are no right or wrong ways to tell a story; there's only what's right for you.
9. Don't memorize. Storytelling isn't a theatrical performance. It's a shared experience. No matter how many times you tell a particular story - as long as you haven't committed it word-for-word to memory - you never know when something brand new and absolutely delightful will show up.
10. Roll with the punches. Did you suddenly remember a critical piece of the story you totally forgot to mention earlier? No problem. Bring it up when you think of it and let your audience be part of the discovery process. ("And what I didn't tell you before, was...")
Most importantly, trust the stories that choose you to be told through. Follow their lead. When you do, both you and your listeners will embark on a magical journey you'll not soon forget.
© Nancy Binzen 2004
Nancy Binzen is a certified storyteller with 30 years of experience as a corporate communicator. To hear great storytelling from around the world by award-winning artists, visit her website at http://www.wisdomtracks.com.
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Being Creative is Essential for Online Success
Do you have a strategy that ensures your online business stands out from the crowd?If your answer to the above is NO then you need to address this issue, because if you don't, it is unlikely that your online presence will even be noticed.With there being so much competition in every field on the internet it is essential that you offer your target market something different than your competitors.
Shyness - Another View
We are all born shy, aren't we? When we see little children clinging to their parents, hiding behind Mom or Dad, we are reminded about the shyness of first coming into this World. As this early stage of our life we are not ready to be seen just yet.
Sharing Our Creative Work with Others
In my "Roadblocks to Creativity" e-course, I ask the question:"What's your first thought if someone hesitates before giving you their opinion about your creative project?"One artist wrote: "When some one hesitates before giving their opinion of my work, I think it is going to be negative; I recently showed some work to my boss and her criticism was so harsh that I now won't show her anything, but the worse part is--it made me even more conscious of showing my work to others as well. She was going through some hard stuff at the time, so my timing was way off.
12 Ways To Boost Your Creativity At Work
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Trying to Create From Distorted Perceptions?
We've all met people who are "negative" - negative thinkers who consistently see the glass as half empty.In certain situations, particularly stressful ones, even the most positive person can fall victim to this distorted thinking.
Creativity and Broken Eggs
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Can we codify creativity? Within these few words are a number of principles that must be identified and resolved before we can really answer the question.The first question is, what is creativity? What are we trying to codify?One useful definition of creativity is that it is problem identification and idea generation.
The 7 Simple Steps To Harnessing Your Creative Power And Achieving Incredible Success
Let me repeat what I believe is the most powerful andfundamental knowledge available to man:"YOU CAN CREATE ANY ACTUAL PHYSICAL REALITY YOU WANT THROUGH THE INTENSE DESIRE, BELIEF AND PERSISTENCE OF YOUR MIND"Your desire for success brought this knowledge to you atthis very moment, there is no doubt of that. But do youknow how to harness it? To wield the power it makesavailable?Every great man and woman to ever walk the Earth harnessedthis knowledge and wielded a power that allowed them toexceed the limitations of regular humanity.
How To Discover Hidden Talents Within You And Begin Appyling Them In Your Life Now
Have you decided it may be time to start creating some newexcitement in your life? If you are now retired, soon to be retired, or just now reaching those "golden years" do you feel your life has become a little dull? Uneventful? Maybe even a little discouraging?After all, when you reach this period in your life, yourroutine may have changed, your energy may have dwindled and even your drive may have simply slowed down a bit. So if you are not happy with this situation what do you do about it? Well here's something to think about that could just change the whole picture.
Connect with Your Inner Artist
In the "Roadblocks to Creativity" e-course, we look at the 7 most common things that block our creative expression. So, if we're "blocked" when we're facing those things, what are we like when we're free of them?Well, certainly we're connected to our "Inner Artist".
10 Ways To Boost Your Creativity
Creativity is your birthright - but can often be hidden in the everyday. To facilitate your personal development and self growth, here are some creativity tips you can use to resurrect, refresh and enhance your creative faculties.
Improvisation in Life and the Arts: What I learned from Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch
Can you be an artist while you're washing the dishes?In this article I share some of my learning and impressions from a chapter of the exceptional book, "Free Play", by Stephen Nachmanovitch.This subtitle of this book, "The Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts", speaks of bringing the improvising we do as creative artists into our daily routines and interactions.
Creativity Management - Sustainability through Passion
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Mind Power Games
Want a fun way to tune up your brain? Why not use some classic mind games to help you increase your brainpower and get you out of your thinking "ruts." Good mind games habituate you to using creative problem solving as a normal part of thinking about things.
Creative Dreams - What Winter Driving Taught Me
We had a winter storm the other day here in Toronto. And as I was driving, I started thinking about what my winter driving had in common with my creative dreams.
Unlock Your Creative Secret Weapon
It seems like this week a ton of people have been asking me how they can become more creative. I even had one client jokingly accuse me of being in cahoots with the Devil in trade for my creativity.
Internet Business: 10 Important Creative Ways To Get New Product Ideas
Creativity is one of the most important keys to success in any business.If you want to succeed in any business, you have to bemore creative and pragmatic.
Drawing On Creativity: How To Trick Your Brain
Can you draw?Your answer to that question reveals a surprising amount about your brain and the way you integrate your right and left hemispheres. (In this article, the left side will be referred to as the dominant one, which is by far the most likely scenario.
My Work Is My Play - The Journey From Survival to Creativity
"For the love a' creation!", my father was fond of expounding, when "Pete" and "God" had run their course. It was years later until I realized that sentence actually held meaning for me - other than an expression of exasperation.
The Sylvia Plath Pattern Of Creative Flow
* Sylvia Plath teaches a valuable lesson about the Even Flow - opening the channels for creativity, regardless of this is for poetry or not.Sylvia Plath was a poet and that was her job and her life.
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