E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Ira Glass on Storytelling and Creative Work

Gran Canaria in the WinterOne of the reasons why I really, really, like the Social Web is because, every so often, you get to bump into those little gems that most folks don’t notice, but that when going through them you pretty much feel they are so special that you just can’t help but re-sharing it again, hoping that others would bump into those precious little things and feel just as inspired are you are after watching them. Well, last week I had another one of those moments and now that I have managed to get some time to blog about it, I thought I would go ahead and point you to two minutes of pure gold: Ira Glass on Storytelling.

You gotta love creative work. It’s probably one of those human traits that we couldn’t possibly live without. It’s part of our genes, our DNA; perhaps one of the several other things that make us unique. But the truth is that, in most cases, it doesn’t just happen. It requires lot of effort, energy and hard work, and perhaps feeling totally inspired altogether as well. Well, if you are very much into creative work then, in whatever form or shape, this is probably one of those blog entries that I think you would enjoy reading further …

Last week, over in Google Plus, I shared a post to a rather short video clip titled “Ira Glass on Storytelling“, where you can certainly witness some of that creativity I mentioned above already. It’s just a short video clip of a little bit under two minutes where Ira Glass himself gets to talk about the process of putting together stories, what it takes, what it involves, both from a process perspective, to how it actually works out, about doing some creative work, and how in some cases, perhaps most cases, things don’t tend to work out all right, at least, in the way we expected it to be and for a rather long period of time. The rest is just an absolutely delightful account that pretty much describes why the whole process, even while you are still learning, or why you are failing to some degree, is very much worth while. And why we just need to keep pushing further along…

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

The wonderful thing though, for me, from sharing this post amongst my Plus networks, was that one of my good friends, Rachel Happe, left a great comment where she eventually pointed out to the entire video clip, which is actually an interview with Ira himself, divided in four parts (Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV), where he gets to talk about Storytelling, the power of the anecdote, what are those moments of reflection while telling stories, how we can go out there look for great stories, why some times we may not be as creative as we thought we were (And lots of practical tips on how to overcome those roadblocks), how we have got that special ability for good taste and for getting rid of cr*p, and how we should use it as often as we possibly could. To then finally finish it all off sharing a couple of pitfalls that people seem to make when putting together stories, using whatever media, and which he advises on avoiding time and time again… But I will let you go and find out more about those two for yourself by watching Part IV of the interview. Here is Part I to get you started:

Some pretty amazingly inspiring stuff on that short interview for sure, that, all in all, lasts for about 17 minutes. The truly fascinating stuff though was that while going through it, and thinking about the various different phases of my own creative work, I couldn’t help agreeing big time with plenty of the advice and great tips that Ira offers in order to not just find some really good stories, but putting them together nicely with that top-notch piece of creativity we all seem to have and which definitely needs further development. Even at that stage where we may not be sure anymore whether it is worth it or not, which Ira establishes at around the 2 year mark of having started it.

Too funny that, when I started with my own blogging, both internal and external, I went through that very same phase, twice!, and around the very same timeframe. Those two years he mentions! Pretty soon though, in October and December this year, it will be my 6th and 8th year anniversary of blogging and somehow I feel I may have gone pass that initial roadblock, although from time to time it keeps coming back. I guess that’s why you may have seen how some times there are some quiet periods where I don’t blog just as often.

I know as well that my blog posts feel pretty much like stories, at least, that’s what plenty of you folks keep telling me, and lengthy ones, too, for sure! (By the way, trying to work a lot on that one at the moment to tame the beast !), but somehow, somewhere in there, and every now and then, I sense that I need to go ahead and enter a moment of reflection and figure out whether that creative work needs shaping up, rework, further enhancements or just pretty much carry on with it. It is in those moments that I realise that, while watching Ira’s interview and thinking about my own blogging style, every now and then, I still enjoy, very much so!, going through this wonderful presentation on “The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging … And When To Use Each One” to try to figure out whether I may have shifted focus into something else, i.e. another blogging style, and figure out the reasons why.

It’s over 4 years old, but still as relevant today, as it was back then. That’s why I wanted to finish off this blog post on The Inspiring Video of the Week with that additional helpful tip on finding and figuring out your own blogging style and voice, because “[…] your taste is still killer!” After all, who doesn’t want their own blogging to “[…] have the special thing that we wanted it to have“, right?

The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging … And When To Use Each One

View more presentations from Rohit Bhargava

(I was hoping to be able to post this blog entry yesterday evening, but, instead, I think those of us who were lucky enough to watch it, AND live it! (Even on TV), we have probably witnessed one of the most insanely electrifying Finals in tennis that you can ever imagine! Over 4 hours of intense, relentless, never-ending, brilliant, talented and highly spirited fighting, that eventually had to have a winner. Another clash of the titans, for sure! One thing confirmed though, once a nadalista, always a nadalista! Vamos Rafa!!!)

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  1. This is good stuff, Luis. I think stories are the load-bearing walls of anything we build. Feelings and beliefs are the foundation, but stories allow us to build on those feeling and emotions, eventually realizing whole communities.

    So much potential in stories.

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