Monday, January 24, 2011

Five things to do with storytelling when you don't want to go outside

We're deep in the heart of winter, up in the Northern hemisphere. These short, cold days and long dark nights lead me to nesting behavior. I just don't want to go outside when it's 10F with 2 feet of snow on the ground. I know, I'm a wimp, but this offers me a chance to hunker down and do some reading.

It's been awhile since I posted storytelling resources. I'm betting some of you are like me, having a tough time getting outside in this weather. In the spirit of keeping our creative fires burning, here are some storytelling things you might do from the comfort of your home. Please note, some of these links were previously posted here, but this is an updated list.
  1. Learn something new, part 1. How about adding a traditional tale to your repertoire? If nothing else, reading some of the old stories will remind of you that people haven't changed very much in the last 10,000 years. The same things still matter to us, it's just at a more frantic pace. You might learn something about yourself or find a piece you'd like to tell or alter.
    There are many great online resources full of traditional stories.
  2. Learn something new, part 2. The internet has many wonderful other resources available for you to explore.
    • Explore the resources at your local library. Most public libraries have their catalogs available online. Many will allow you to hold a book that you can pick up later, when it's warmer. Try a catalog search for storytelling with children, for example. Or some other topic that interests you. See what you can find!
    • Learn about a new kind of storytelling. As I mentioned last week, it's sometimes good to tell the stories that scare you. Check out the site for an organization that does something you'd like to tell about. Do you care about marine life? Go to the Cousteau Society and see how they tell their story. How would you tell that same story? What about digital storytelling? Or stand-up comedy?
    • Read an article by someone you admire. Many storytellers maintain blogs or archives of their advice. Go to their websites and poke around. 
  3. Listen to some stories, watch some storytellers in action. Organizations like massmouth post videos of storytellers strutting their stuff. What about trying a youtube search for storytelling? Maybe your favorite festival has videos online from previous years?
  4. Hone your craft. There's no time like the present to work on your own skills as a storyteller and business owner.
    • How about telling a story in your living room, recording it and then going over the recording? What was great? What could be eliminated or fleshed out?
    • Work on a new idea. Jot down some notes, call a friend and aks them to brainstorm with you.
    • When was the last time you updated your webpage, resume, myspace, facebook or linkedin pages?
    • Send a few emails to organizations where you'd like to tell.
    • Update your basic press release.
  5. Tell someone a story. Do you live with room-mates, family, friends? Do you have a telephone? You can always reach out and tell someone a story. Maybe even more importantly, you can listen to their story. Ask them to tell you a story. You might be amazed at what happens.
    These cold, dark days are a gift. We have the chance to pull into our shells and do some housekeeping, catch up with ourselves. Savor the time.

    (c)2011 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


    1. Laura - what a fabulous post.... keeps us tuned to what is a long New England tradition - hunkering down and going deep into the telling. Thanks for this Diane Edgecomb

    2. Yep, this is a good one. Thanks for the reminders (Sur la lune) and new linkies!!

    3. Want to watch some storytellers online?

      The search function at YouTube is terrible, and they've removed the Oral Storytellers channel.
      You can scan my playlists:
      World Storytelling


      World Storytelling 2

      or check out my Tumblr of storyteller videos:


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