A complement to her bestselling storytelling guide, Long Story Short, five-time Moth champion storyteller Margot Leitman has created this useful and inspiring workbook with exercises and prompts that walk you through creating a story from idea to performance. What's Your Story? includes lists and guided prompts for generating ideas, story templates for developing your stories, and bonus content geared toward performance storytelling. Perfect for aspiring storytellers, including The Moth performers, comics, memoirists, and public speakers, as well as anyone hoping to tap into the power of storytelling in their personal or professional lives.
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LET’S DIVE IN
Have you ever had something running through your mind and needed to vent? And when you finally share it with a friend, they said, “I totally know how you feel” Or maybe your friend finally got you to laugh about what happened. The simple act of sharing the problem with another person often makes us feel better. The situation at hand hasn’t fundamentally changed, but by talking about it out loud you’ve altered the weight it has on you. You’re no longer carrying around that story you have been telling yourself; it now lives somewhere else.
This workbook is basically a rent-free apartment for all your stories. Sharing a story via the page or the stage gives your experiences an outlet, so they are no longer swirling around only in your head. The simple act of releasing a story from your mind, where its only purpose is to take up space and distract you, can be cathartic, healing, and can also change the course of your life and career.
I know this from personal experience. For the past ten or so years, I’ve been fortunate enough to tell true stories for a living and teach others all around the world to do so. I’ve seen lives changed by just beginning this journey. Students of mine have ended relationships, gotten sober, proposed to their partners, begun therapy, quit jobs, launched successful businesses and moreafter discoveries they made through the process of sharing their stories in front of others. I never cease to be amazed by how powerful it is to simply share your truth.
Before you begin, it will help to understand what exactly a story is. Throughout this workbook, when I use the word “story” I am talking about a true experience that moved or affected you, and one that contains a beginning, middle and end. Great stories have conflict and build to a climax, leading to a resolution and conclusion. But don’t be overwhelmed by the technical stuff. All you need to remember to get started is: be free, keep it true, and have fun.
No matter what your end goal is, as you use this journal, be sure to make it a judgment-free/censorship-free activity. No one ever needs to see this but you, and if you choose to take a story onstage, to the boardroom or in print, you’ll have plenty of time to edit then.