In this short essay, I share my experience with storytelling from a storytelling point of view, and what might be in it for you as listener.  

I am preparing for the Chennai Storytelling Festival 2021, which starts in February and will run for four weekends. The Festival offers workshops, storytelling sessions, etc. so feel free to join wherever you are in the world.*

In September 2020,  I registered for the Festival. It was time to think of a story. I decided to tell a personal story. I knew the beginning of the story but was struggling with the middle and end. Then I heard a storytelling friend telling her personal story experience and bum I knew what I have to do with my story.  Putting it on paper was one thing: preparing it for telling was another thing. As January 2021 approached, I knew I should work on crafting the story. Another storytelling friend listened to me telling it, provided feedbacks, listened again and provided feedback.

On Saturday, I had an opportunity to tell it at an Open mic organized by Storytelling Toronto. The story is called Goodbye to my daddy and is about my childhood experience of my father’s death and how I managed to stop greaving.  

Here are several feedbacks from the audience:

“Marijana, today is the anniversary of my Dad’s death, great story, I needed to hear this story today. “

“A bear hug from your father. During this time of covid we all know what it is like not to hug children and grandchildren. “

“The anniversary of my Father’s death. Thank you for sharing!

Having experience and feedback from an audience prepares me for the final event.

As you can imagine, storytelling is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but that is not your concern. If you are still wondering what is in it for you, let me help you. From experience as the storyteller and listener, I learned stories:

  1. entertain and relax you from the everyday schedule
  2. give you an answer to a problem you might be struggling with
  3. comfort you
  4. even heal you.

Interestingly, my personal story already helped me, but also it touched other people. Isn’t that amazing.

Also, to gain the most from stories (written or told) keep an open heart and leave expectations. Expectations will keep your walls up, and you might not get what is in it for you.  

If you have any question, you can send an email to mmrvos@icloud.com

*Chennai Storytelling Festival 2021, The Healing Power of Story, Storytelling, and Story-enacting. To register to attend any or all CSF 2021 Zoom events, please send an email request to info@storytellinginstitute.org. Adults could register for themselves and for young people under their care.

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