Holistic Storyteller
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A Whole-body Approach

Last week, my knee got messed up from a camping injury involving a wood saw being carted down mountainous terrain. So I shrugged off a doctor’s visit, took a cyber rabbit hole to home remedies and, within a few hours, had an old dish rag Saran wrapped to my kneecap. That dishrag contained a homemade poultice that’d have Macbeth‘s weird sisters witch-green with envy. Though the swelling went down, my writing suffered.

A few weeks prior, I scrolled through Facebook during lunch, just in time for the latest polarizing news item to hit my most opinionated friends on both sides of the debate. The rest of the afternoon, I looked at the world through a cynical lens, and the momentum from my previous night’s writing fell flat.

You’ve likely heard the browbeaten mantra that writer’s must write daily. That’s the only way if you’re serious about your craft. And maybe you’re like me in that you’ve beaten yourself up to the point of ruining the consecutive days that followed… because you didn’t write that one time.

Were writing insular and unconnected to any other life event or circumstance, I’d be sitting on an impressive pile of published stories that spans genres, media and themes. But writing’s not insular, and no story’s an island. And sometimes cynical gurus being, above all, cynical gurus isn’t the thing you need.

Holistic Storyteller will address that very reality: that you, the storyteller, regardless of genre or medium, have multiple facets of identity and experience that can both hinder and nourish your creative output. Many of my posts will include craft talk about structure, dialogue, proper formatting and the like. Others, though, will offer life hacks for dealing with chronic pain or depression, or delicious/healthy/economical recipes that offer energy boosts when you’ve got the munchies from late-night artistry. That’s how a whole-body approach looks. We’ll be looking at the whole storyteller that is you, and that’s gonna take us down some pretty funky rabbit holes. But the rabbit holes will always lead back to better storytelling.

At Holistic Storyteller, you’ll hear a lot about screenwriting and film geekery from time to time. That’s the realm of my academic expertise. But you’ll also hear about the advantages and setbacks of giftedness, or of the unique challenges facing the storyteller with autism, or of some of my favorite writing prompts. My nomadic career path has offered me a thorough understanding of those fields as well.

What you won’t hear at Holistic Storyteller is my surefire, patented writing formula that no other writer has imagined. If you want that sort of thing, just study Aristotle’s Poetics. Everything else is just a variation on that theme anyway. I’ll still point you to some of those other variations, though, because there is a time and a season for a guru’s cynicism when you need that tough love.

Whether you’re a screenwriter, playwright, songwriter, painter or interpretive dancer… Whether you dabble in video games or public speaking or in RPG Dungeon Mastering… Holistic Storyteller was created with you in mind.

Because none of us can just flip the “creative” switch each day and expect the same productive output as before. It takes effort. It takes self-reflection. It takes entire attitudinal shifts and a whole lot more. Despite all the high-maintenance ego massaging of what we do, though, it’s worth it.

As a storyteller, you’re part of a lineage that predates all known spoken and written languages. Yours is a powerful role that captures the spirit of the present age in a way that only you can do. You’re a storyteller, and that identity should rightfully dissipate over into the entirety of your being.

 

About the Author Mark Ezra Stokes

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