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Finding Your Stories

 
garden master
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In Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks, he explains a few methods of how to find your own personal stories.

The methods he covers are Homework For Life, Crash and Burn, and First/Last/Best/Worst.

Homework For Life
Essentially, homework for life is to spend five minutes every day adding a few short words or phrases into an excel sheet in one column and the date in another.



From the video description:
"Homework for Life" is a strategy that I originally began using to generate more story topics for the stage, but as I began to use the strategy daily, it changed my life. It made everything about my life so much more vivid and slowed my life down remarkably. It's a strategy I teach to my storytelling classes often, and I've had people tell me that it has replaced therapy and meditation for them. It truly changes lives. Powerful."

Crash and Burn
The gist of this is to use a pen and paper for fifteen minutes a day to write down whatever ideas are passing through your mind. This is pretty much a stream of consciousness exercise, and most of it is to just let your ideas flow and mind wander, without judging any of your thoughts- letting them all come in and go as they may.



From the video description:
"This is a demonstration of Crash & Burn, a story-generating exercise that I detail in my book Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade and Change Your Life Through the Art of Storytelling."

First, Last, Best, Worst
The gist of this is to have a spreadsheet with things in one column and then four following columns that say First, Last, Best, Worst; then, each of the columns gets filled in with the first, last, best, and worst of that thing. Example excerpt taken from the book Storyworthy.



Questions
What other methods do you have or know of that are good for finding stories, moments, or anecdotes from your own life?
 
pollinator
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I use stories when I have to explain a concept and that i do not know where to start.

Let's say I need to tell 3 things to go around the topic, and none of the 3 can be understood without previously understanding the others!

I will have a story popping up! It will embody the 3 in 1.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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The ol' ways to tell stories was to do so at dinner. most of us have been around separately and doing her own stuff, and we all meet again. As a mean to keep in touch, everybody tells what happened and brings it to the group, so that the link stays among all members. I remember very well that though my dad was also telling about his day, I have never been able to fully connect with what he was doing until I actually went to this place.
So this, instead of writing, telling and sharing, thus listening too.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Story telling is actually about nervous system integration of what we have done, so that it stays better in us. It can also help to process better what was intense - either pleasurable or difficult - when the memory is still recurring. It needs a story listener that knows what is important: find in the story what the teller has not processed and mirror it. I remember a person telling me twice the same story, so I mirrored the emotion I saw, and this changed the story and it made more sense, because actually, the importance of the emotion had not been acknowledged by anyone before, but dismissed.

most people who are said to be negative or that share "too much" are just in need of this, and I am sad to see too much the advise to "avoid negative people". they are not negative, they just miss this fundamental story sharing. And they will share too much until they meet a story listener. When the story is not nice, we want the change of mood happen in one direction, so we should not be empath when we listen, because it means that we will not be of any help, and will hurt ourself and thus will try to avoid the "negative person". If we are a mirror, the sad energy stays outside. Eventually if we have had the same issue, our mood will come up but the mutual support can help to feel better about it.

And then we can share nice stories that have also been too intense to process! We will get more good things from the intense nice story if we share it too. We can tell or write, the goal is to make more sense of it, to integrate evenly at the level of its meaning, its eventual change of meaning if it was a aha moment, and also at emotional level or relational level. So it helps coherence in us to happen.
 
master pollinator
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Over the last few years I have had a Job-Like experience (as in Job of the bible), and so I wanted to write a memoir about the trying times Katie and I had, but the experience was rather gloom and doom, and wrought with such harsh realities of cancer and death. But during that time I made a rather amazing discovery on my farm, and so over the winter I was able to write a 200 page memoir about it.

I was pretty proud of that. Most people want to write a book, but never do, and this was the second book I have completed. I have a third book half-written, that someday I may finish! (Maybe) :-)
 
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