Not everyone is a storyteller.
Not everyone wants to be a storyteller. But it is my contention that everyone loves a good story and have since the beginning of time. We love to be swept up in what is the heart and soul of any good story: conflict. Make no mistake, there is conflict in everything that we do because conflict is second nature to human beings. We are blessed with two primary instincts: fear and survival. There is no way that those two words don’t imply conflict in its most primal way. Conflict is filled with emotion. Conflict is filled with jeopardy.
The best storytellers have a gift for tapping into our emotions and letting us inside the jeopardy that is inherent in most situations and every relationship.
Books are my favorite vehicle for storytelling, though not every book represents good storytelling. The movies attempt to convey a story in two hours. Some are successful, some are not. The theater is much the same. Art? Well, there are lot of artists who proclaim themselves storytellers, but not every painting, sculpture, or piece of pottery rises to that level. For my money, it doesn’t matter. If you make the attempt to write a book or a poem, create a script or produce a movie, act in or direct a play, pick up a paint brush or mold a piece of pottery, you’ve taken a risk in the creative world and ventured into the realm of storytelling. That in its own right is a success.
The best storytelling comes from a place of truth; it is genuine. It comes from a place of sharing. If you’re goal is garner attention, then you’re neither genuine nor truthful. The recipient of a story – the reader, the viewer, the observer, the listener – know truth and authenticity when they see it or hear it.
When all is said and done, storytelling has a human quality to it. It can be both universal and timeless. Those are pretty significant traits and make venturing into the role of storyteller pretty special.
Yes, it’s also a place of vulnerability, but what isn’t. The best stories are about overcoming vulnerability and pushing beyond what makes us comfortable.
Why not try it sometime.