One of the things I do best is convince myself that whatever I’m going through now is the absolute worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes that feeling lasts for a few minutes and sometimes it lasts for weeks. More than once my therapist has said to me, “You’ve lived through worse and you have the skills to get through this.” 

And it’s true. Whatever I’m going through in the moment is almost never the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s just funny how often I need someone to remind me that my survival rate so far is 100%. I think for September’s show we could all use some stories that remind us we’re often stronger than we think we are.

Come tell a story about a time when you got knocked down and managed to get up again. Was it love walking out the door? Did you lose your job and find yourself living in your car? I definitely have stories about those times. Maybe you lost something you thought you couldn’t live without. Or you were betrayed and thought you’d never trust again. Or maybe you woke up in the hospital and had to change the arc of your life to accommodate your recovery. 

How did you get up off your back and face the world again? And when you did figure out how to move forward, how did it change you? Do you miss the old you or are you happy with the person you became? Are you better for having lived through it or are there parts of you that you lost that you can never get back?

Remember to practice your story out loud on as many people as possible and time yourself when you’re doing it. All stories have to be under 8 minutes. Stories can be as short as you want but not over 8 minutes. If your story goes long, someone else who practiced for weeks might not get a chance to tell. Stories also have to be clean in both language and content. Send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions about that.

The rest of the rules and guidelines are below:

Workshops are a great way to get feedback on a story you’re working on. Here is one I highly recommend:  https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/

I’m also happy to help people with their stories. Send me an email and we can set up a phone call.

If you like to work alone, this is the best book I’ve ever seen on personal storytelling:

We’ll be on Zoom again unless the indoor mask mandate changes. Now is a great time for our out-of-town tellers to share more stories with us!

I’ll send out the Zoom link to everyone on the Monday before the show which is September 13.

I hope to see a bunch of you at the show on September 16.

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com