I am a storyteller. I have been since I can remember. Much to my mom’s chagrin I could spin a long, bloated yarn that would make Mark Twain proud, when all she wanted to know was “Who took my good scissors?”
Fortunately, I’ve been able to fashion a living out of storytelling. It started with stand-up comedy when I was only 19, and then morphed into various forms of writing, including screenplays, magazine articles, advertising copy, blogs, and books. Today my storytelling career can be chunked into three categories:
- As a humorous and corporate speaker, I tell my own stories.
- As an author and blogger, I write my own stories.
- As a teacher, I help other people discover and share their stories, asking the age-old question, “What’s Your Story?”
But at the core of all that, it’s still just storytelling.
I consider myself to be very lucky. Although I’m not wealthy by any means (a living in any of the arts can be a struggle), I’m rich beyond measure, because…
I get up everyday and get to do what I love.
And somehow I don’t starve in the process. Between my books, blogs, and speaking gigs, I cobble together lunch money and then some.
Not Just My Story, But What’s Your Story?
However, where I really shine is as a writing and self-publishing instructor for adult learning and community education programs. For some reason when I ask people, “What’s your story?” they tell me. And then I help them organize those stories into a series of written words, that then become sentences, that then become books.
One thing I consistently notice when I teach is that many people, mostly women, come into my classes with a burning desire to tell a story, but then beat themselves up over the fact that they don’t consider themselves writers. It’s a strange dichotomy that eats away at many a student’s soul. On the one hand, they want to abandon the idea of getting their messages out (because their ego tells them they can’t do it), but on the other hand, something inside of them won’t let them walk away. I sometimes spend considerable amounts of class time arguing with a student on why they are able to write a book, if they’d just shut up and listen to what’s inside.
Journey into Your Story
Because this has become a noticeable trend, I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve partnered with my dear friend and colleague, Stephanie Barton, to teach a two-day women’s writing retreat in Park City (at Hotel Park City) called Journey into Your Story, September 25 – 27. Stephanie is a life coach, and the founder of the international practice Life Dream Coaching. She developed her practice to heal, empower, and support women through self-love, energetic awareness, and authentic discovery. I brought Stephanie in to help women unblock their creative energies so that when I teach them writing and self-publishing they get out of their own way, and thus actively listen, focus, and absorb the information on a richer, more in-depth level.
The great thing about the Journey into Your Story retreat is that you don’t have to be a professional writer to profit from it. The retreat seminars and exercises are designed for new, seasoned, and aspiring women writers, no matter what stage of their writing journey they’re in. It’s a completely new concept I’ve developed, and to introduce it (and Stephanie) to you, I’ve created this short video:
If this approach is something you, or someone you know, might be interested in, check out the Journey into Your Story webpage for more information.
If you’re just getting your feet wet in the process of finding and writing your story, please join my Offbeat Authors Guild closed FB page (it’s free). It’s a collective of independent writers, authors, and publishing professionals, on which we exchange information, resources, and creative ideas. Plus, if you have a book or writing project you’d like promote, you’re free to do so on the Offbeat Authors Guild FB page, once you become a member.
And if you have a moment, please like my book FB page for The Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publish Your Book. The book came out in January, and I’m just now getting around to creating a FB page for it. That’s because I’ve been so busy teaching writing and self-publishing classes!
Regardless, if you have a message in you that’s burning to get out, I strongly urge you to consider the Journey into Your Story retreat on Sept 25 – 27. After all, it’s your story. It’s time to find it. Write it. Share it. The world is waiting to hear what you have to say.
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Stacy Dymalski is an award-winning keynote speaker, devoted storyteller, and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamorous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage. For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in bookstores and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.