Thursday, January 22, 2015

Listen In: Storytellers Summit Presents 20+ Creative Conversations (including little ole me)

Update: Though the window for listening to all the  interviews has closed, here's a link to my interview,  about "The Writing Life," which focused primarily on creating a workable, satisfying writing life amid conflicting demands and time constraints. 

Original Post:

As writers, we love getting information via the printed word. But there's something wonderful about not reading and instead listening, just listening, to other writers and creative professionals talk about their work. That's why I tune in to radio discussions about books and writing, bookmark podcasts, and click those "hear from the author" buttons. 
That's also why I am so pleased to be participating in the first StorytellersSummit, taking place right now, online, at no cost. At the site, you can choose to listen to any of the 22 creative folks in conversation with Decoding Creativity founder Julia Roberts.

Roberts recorded the 30-minute conversations, then set up a schedule which, over four days (Jan. 21 – 24 – yes, we're in the middle of it right now!), delivers a thoughtful mix of people, specialties, genres, professions, and entry points. Her core question is about creativity and the creative life. Each day, five or so conversations go live at different times (mine is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time) – and then all will remain available, at no cost, through Saturday, January 31.

Some of the pros whose interviews I enjoyed listening to already  (and can now be heard in any order you like) include Marion Roach Smith on memoir and writing with intention; agent Liza Dawson on nurturing a long writing career; and Beverly Belling on aligning with your creative intuition.

Today's line-up includes talks on storytelling, overcoming writing resistance, graphic novels, and gaining clarity before writing. On Friday, besides my conversation, titled "The Writer's Life," you can hear from others about creative branding, self-publishing, the power of fairy tales, and time management. Saturday brings talks on writing community, crowdfunding for creatives, and lots more.

I chatted with Julia yesterday about her experience organizing and presenting Storytellers Summit:

LR: After talking with all the experts, what did you notice about their creative impulses and creativity practices? What sets them apart?

JR: What sets them apart is that they are very clear about their creative choices. Not only have they made craft choices – various degrees, jobs etc – but they have made life choices to promote their work to others. Many of them also know that if you want a life of creating/writing, you have to do that. No one will do it for you.

LR: How did you decide whom to feature in the Summit?

JR: I set up my learning tracks  – Tell a Story, Sell a Story, The Story in Your Head, Picture Story, and HerStory -  just to suit my own interests. Then I reached out to over 100 experts; some said yes (yay). I pre-interviewed everyone to make sure they had energy and ideas to contribute.

LR:  What are a few things you learned yourself?

JR: I learned so much. Debbie Reber’s pre-writing process will influence me. David Doodleslice Cohen's and Veta Bates' talks on branding got me thinking. My talk with agent Liza Dawson changed my perspective on how “they” think about “us.” I loved talking with Scott McCloud about his creative work over a lifetime and his upcoming book, The Sculptor. And to be honest, I loved the simplicity of your point of view: if you’re going to write, you're going to NOT do something else. Like yoga. Everyone taught me something.

LR:  As a creativity coach, do you find there's a difference in the way people take in and process information via audio interviews than via the printed word?  What can we get from listening?

JR: I like audio, because it’s spontaneous and has energy and humor. You can write with those same qualities, but you can hardly have a live conversation without them. Strange things sometimes happen.

LR: Most people won't be able to listen to all of the conversations they want to at the time they first air. How and when can they access the interviews later on?

JR: The interviews go live at 10:00 a.m. on their day of the schedule. If you listen live, then there’s tweeting from me @heyJuliaRoberts and Facebook discussions immediately following Also the conversations will remain active until January 31.

Check out the Storytellers Summit website for the full schedule and roster of interviewees; and follow #StorySumit on Twitter. If you happen to listen to my conversation with Julia, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Image (Listen) - Flickr/Creative Commons, Striatic


Laura S Reading said...

Thank you for sharing this.
I am excited that we can listen at times that may be more convenient to each of us. altho I wish I could sit and enjoy these conversations all day long.

Lisa Romeo said...

Thanks, LJ. I hope you get to hear some!
As for me, we're expecting a lot of snow over the weekend, so I'll grab my ear buds, a hot chocolate, make a fire, and listen to my colleagues!