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|"The workshop was a real creative catalyst for me. You exposed me to a creative process, then provided a safe
place to try it out, and finally prompted me to arrange my life to
allow this process to continue. The memory of it makes me feel safe,
valued and creative. Thank you!" - Robin Shulte, St. Petersburg,
A Three-and-a-Half-Day Workshop by Doug
There are currently no Image Riding Workshops scheduled. Contact me to arrange one!
But you can take one in your own home: the Image
Riding Toolkit is now shipping!
|A sure-fire process
for accessing your
IRON-CLAD GUARANTEE: If you don't find that this workshop gives you an easy, dependable way to create wonderful stories, I'll refund every cent of your fee.
Who Else Wants a Limitless Supply of Stories?
"If you are interested in plumbing the depths of your story
mind and finding surprises around every turn, if you are interested
in finding new passion for your storytelling and for your creative
life, this is the workshop for you!" - Joan King, Telford, PA
Has this happened to you?
I remember a time when my storytelling career seemed poised to take off. My name had gotten around in the Boston area - and was just starting to get mentioned elsewhere. Suddenly, job offers came in from a stunning variety of sources. Folks wanted stories for:
and much more...
- television talk shows (yes - but before the days of Jerry Springer, et al.)
At that time, for me to develop a new story was a slow, painstaking process. It involved not only the sometimes inevitable research and "back-burner" mental simmering. It also involved lots of fits and stops. False start after false start. Teeth-grinding sessions trying to force a story to come to me.
Then I'd finally create a story. Too often, I'd try it out a few times - only to realize that it was too artificial. Too lifeless. Too formulaic. Too derivative. In short, the stories I tried to create on assignment seemed to lack the vitality and originality that the best stories all share.
How could I possibly keep up with the demand for stories? The world seemed like my oyster - if only I had enough story pearls to offer it! In the end, I gave up on creating stories as a dependable way to expand my repertoire.
As it happened, the promise of that period never materialized. Without a way to expand my repertoire quickly and easily, I couldn't keep up with the opportunities presented to me. Predictably, the opportunities went knocking on other people's doors.
Quite helpful! I learned to follow the images, not try to direct them. I'll use what I learned to follow through with developing a series of stories that have been in my head for more than 10 years! - Nancy Camp, Arlington, VA
How I Finally Learned the Easy Way
Three years ago, all that began to change. I found a way to create stories that did not depend on my conscious understanding - and therefore could not be derailed by my expectations, formulas, and too-logical constructions. I learned to let my mind surprise me - and I've been rewarded by story after story. Each story has come quickly and easily. And every one has been a "keeper."
Ironically, this method for creating stories did not come from the teachings of someone else. In fact, I learned it at a workshop that I was leading!
Over my thirty-plus years as a professional storyteller, I've learned to trust images. By the fall of 2000, I was comfortable making the following three claims:
- 1) Images are the stuff of story!
- Stories are made of images. Not words. Not ideas.
- 2) Images come in many forms.
- My imagining happens not just through the visual, but also through the auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, etc. This is my whole body at work!
- 3) Images are a mode of thinking.
- As a storyteller, I respond in complex ways to the world around me. My responses often come to me first through a non-linear, rapid mode of thinking - through images.
By respecting images in these ways, I had gained many advantages in telling my stories - and in helping others tell.
But I had heard of an even more radical form of trusting images - one that was anything but comfortable. In fact, I was frightened of it.
And then, one day, I found myself teaching others to do it.
"Since the workshop, I'm having an exciting time writing a science fiction novel with this imaging technique. I've been doing imaging sessions at least once a week for 4 months.
"I've gotten rich, interesting, charming, bizare and funny characters, settings, scenes, action and dialog. Many of the scenes have been somewhat unresolved, and I wasn't sure how they were going to fit together, but I trusted and enjoyed the process.
"Then I decided to switch gears and do a plot outline and some character and backstory development. In about two hours I had a really strong and interesting overall outline that tied most of the scenes togther and answered many questions of purpose and meaning. It was effortless and terrifically exciting. Now that I have the outline, I've done a few more imaging sessions to get details for new scenes to make the plot work.
"This is less struggle than fiction writing I have done in the past and it is by far the best writing I've ever done."
-Nancy Ibsen, storyteller and writer, Redmond, WA
For several years, Jay O'Callahan and I ran a series of workshops called, "The Creative Process Through Storytelling." The idea was to teach people about the nature of their own creativity, through the medium of storytelling.
Over the years, we developed exercises for helping people tell more naturally, more powerfully. Most of these ways involved engaging the imagination. Many exercises helped people access memories. Others worked from the input of their senses, and let images evolve from something they were seeing or feeling at the moment. Still others involved translating images from one sensory mode to another - e.g., if you start with a visual image, what are the sounds associated with it?
All these exercises were predicated on an assumption: that images had to be tricked or coaxed from our minds. That cleverness was involved in creating an opportunity for an image to enter us.
In many settings, of course, this assumption is true.
But, as it turns out, sometimes images can be simply invited.
During our last "Creative Process" workshop, in the Pennsylvania countryside, Jay and I "threw in" a new exercise. We asked people to simply sit and wait for an image to come - then describe the image to a partner.
As luck would have it, I got to be a participant during that exercise. To my relief, an image came to me. I continued to allow it to develop in brief turns during - then after - the workshop. By the time I had spent an hour or two allowing a series of images to materialize, I found myself with a fully developed story - one that I still tell today!
(Note: You can hear that very story, if you're interested, on my recording, Can You Hear the Silence? It's called "Hearing the Music.")
From Accident to Process
This was too good to be true! Hesitantly, I tried the experiment again, this time with twenty minutes of a story buddy's attention. Amazingly, I ended up with another new story - in record time!
Over the next months, I experimented and refined my technique. I developed a four-phase process. For the second, crucial phase, I developed a set of five "rules" that ensured the process would work.
By now, I have created over 20 stories using this method. Seventeen of them are
posted on one of my websites. The others have been created for special occasions
- when I needed a story quickly.
To date, this method has never failed me!
The next step, of course, was to see if this method worked for others. My first steps included an exciting afternoon at a workshop in the spring of 2002 in Pasadena. Then similar brief sessions during longer workshops elsewhere.
I began teaching people this method during private coaching sessions and in my
ongoing coaching class in Boston. I even presented it as part of a conference
on the "Art
and Science of Story" in Palm Springs, CA, in September 2002.
People have been highly interested - who wouldn't want an easy way to create good stories? But, up until I began offering multi-day workshops, most people didn't have enough follow-up with me to be sure they learned the technique.
"I came a way with a strong sense of appreciation for each individual's story as it relates to them personally and what they value inside.
"I think this is a testimony to you, Doug, as a coach, for making everyone feel special and worthy of their strength to tell their story to a group. I felt that everyone in the group had a special story to tell, and you helped us to see our own "specialness" through your coaching process.
"This is a powerful message to get - That my story is special and that I have the strength to tell it! In addition...I took away a practical means for understanding and working between images and words." - Kevin Gordon, World Tales, New York, NY
A Chance to Learn for Yourself
Now, I'm offering a chance to learn, practice, and
make use of this technique in three locations across the U.S. In each of three
private homes this spring - one dozen people will have a chance to learn this
process. I'm sure that every one of them will leave their 3 1/2-day workshop
able to create stories easily and endlessly. How sure? I'm guaranteeing it:
MY GUARANTEE: You will be completely satisfied with the workshop - or you'll get a 100% refund.
How many other storytelling workshops guarantee results? How many creativity workshops? In a field where expectations sometimes outpace results, this guarantee should make you sit up and take notice. For once, you have nothing to lose!
Why You Won't Attend
If you are serious about your storytelling, you have learned to be thoughtful about where and when to spend your time and money. Here are the hard questions I expect you to ask.
Is this too good to be true?
This method puts you in touch with natural mental processes. It does NOT suspend the laws of nature.
This method does not free you of the necessity to spend time - albeit less time - developing your original stories. Furthermore, if a story takes place in another time period or culture, you will still need to do research.
This method is not a substitute for performance technique, voice-care, relating to an audience, etc. And, to maximize your creativity, you will still need to continue to grow as an artist and a person.
But this method can shorten the path! It can help you tap into the most reliable source of creativity that your brain has: the ability to provide rapid, non-linear responses to the situations and events in our lives. And that means that stories will flow out of you like never before.
|"After I returned from your workshop, I was asked
by one of my co-workers to provide a program for our local grade
school (Grades 1-8)… Before the workshop it would have taken
me several days of practice to get prepared to do the performance
after not telling for so long. As a result of your workshop, I
spent very little time preparing in my traditional way...I
spent a couple hours in preparation and the performance was a wonderful
experience. Thanks for sharing your process!"—Dick
Rumpf, Estill Springs, TN
How could something this good be newly invented?
This method is not really new. The process it codifies has been part of the human brain for eons.
In fact, many artists of all stripes have reported similar experiences. Novelists talk about entering a world that already exists in their minds, rather than creating one. Poets, painters, musicians all have described parallel experiences. Even blues singer Bukka White called his original songs "sky songs," because they seemed to come to him from the sky, completely formed.
What I have done is not to create a new ability of the mind, but rather to explicate the exact conditions and procedures that you can follow to reliably make use of this ability.
|"I found my way to my source of images! As I hoped
when signing up for the workshop, I believe the availability of these images
will help my future plans to write, as well as brighten my days. Since
the workshop, I have felt lifted up and joyous about life."—Kate
Harris, Atlanta, GA
Isn't creativity a talent that some folks just don't have?
People may have told you that such fluid creation depends on some rare talent. Some folks are just born with "talent" for creating, they say, and the rest of us don't have it.
Actually the truth is more like this: we all have the underlying ability. But some folks have stumbled on ways to access that ability. What's different about them is only that they've found their own equivalent of my process. Sadly, too many have believed that their ability is unusual.
Did you know that some people learn to read without being taught? This method for creating stories from images is the creative equivalent of a reading system. It helps people who may not have learned on their own, and guides them to be able to use this innate ability.
And for folks who have already experienced dipping into their inner wells of creativity, it gives a dependable way to repeat the experience. It helps you make it a regular part of your life!
|"I learned that we all have access to an infinite
amount of wisdom within us. Since the workshop, I am much more intune to
all my senses. I would absolutely recommend it!"—Linda Martin,
Who Should NOT Attend This Workshop?
This workshop is not for everybody. To follow my method, you need to be willing to face the unknown. After all, everything new is unknown before you create it.
You also need to be willing to trust yourself deeply and to say what comes into your mind, whether it seems to make sense or not.
You don't have to know how to do these things yet. You just need to be willing to learn to do them. In short, you need to be willing to temporarily give up tight control over what you think. Later, you can take the stuff of what you imagined and knead it into whatever shape you desire. But first you need to be willing to suspend your desire to control every step of the process.
|"I enjoy writing but I've never felt that I possessed
enough originality to write something that didn't merely copy themes
and ideas from the writers whose work I admire. However, the imaging
process takes the responsibility out of my hands, and the experience
of deliberately taking my hands off the wheel is more healing and freeing
than I can well express."—Terry Deer,
Port Orange, FL
Isn't this a long workshop, if all I will learn is just one technique?
What would you say if I said I would give you the key to Ali Baba's cave - so you could go back there for treasure whenever you wanted, for the rest of your life?
What would you say if I offered to teach you how to create beautiful music for the rest of your life. Would a weekend seem too long?
I AM offering you a guided journey into the pot of creative gold at the source of your own rainbow. Doesn't a long weekend seem like a small investment?
This workshop will be highly individualized. After all, only 12 will be allowed to attend! I will personally assist you in learning every part of this process - so that your own never-ending treasury of story will always be open to you.
|"Excellent workshop. Helped me see more clearly the
images of the stories I tell and helped my school kids with their imaging—which
will help with their writing. Gave me more confidence in my imaging during
telling and my abilities to convey those images to others."—Gene
Toncray, Fort Myers, FL
Is this really worth over $400?
Actually, it's worth a great deal more. (Some might argue that such a price would
be cheap just for a weekend in a beautiful home, surrounded by
folks who value creativity. Be that as it may, changing the way you create
stories is a much bigger prize even than that.)
What I'm about to teach you is the secret I yearned for, for decades. I took
courses in writing. I bought well over $400 worth of books - most of which
I even got an M.A. in Creative Writing - how many tens of thousands of dollars
would that cost now? I attended another graduate school on a Schubert Foundation
Fellowship in Playwrighting. I studied with dozens of teachers - none of whom
knew how to teach me this!
When I think of all the money I spent WITHOUT learning this technique, I get steamed up. But I don't regret spending it. Investing in my own future was always the right decision.
I don't regret trying to learn this at great expense. I just wish I had found a teacher who knew what I now know - and could teach it as clearly and universally as I can now teach it.
The real question is this: how much will it cost you NOT to have this information? How many chances will you have to let pass you by, because you are still struggling to create and learn stories in the long, hard ways?
|"Since the workshop my creativity level has skyrocketed.
My creative writing exercises are much more enjoyable, and enriching due
to the new clarity of my imaging. Before the workshop I could not "see" my
characters clearly. They were only vague, shadowery figures in my head.
Now they have come alive! They are so bold and vivid they actually take
over the story. Now it is an absolute thrill to sit down and write."—Lynn
Rogers - Jacksonville, FL
Why should I believe you can teach this?
I've offered 24 weekend workshops in S. California over the last 13 years, 19
in New York state, 19 in Massachusetts,17 in Washington/Baltimore, 12 in Atlanta
- not to mention hundreds of other workshops throughout the U.S. and as far
away as Belgium, Switzerland and New Zealand. I've been on the boards of:
I've had five books published, recorded 11 programs of stories and songs, and
published unique instructional materials for those who tell stories in work or
- the National Storytelling Association
- the National Storytelling Network,
- the Three Apples Storytelling Festival
- the Storytellers In Concert series in Cambridge and Boston, MA.
And much more!
- The Storytelling Workshop in a Box
- The Leading Story Monthly: recorded interviews with great minds in storytelling.
- Marketing That Really Works: for Storytellers
- Making a Storytelling Recording
- The Storyteller's Voice-Care Toolkit
Many tellers, from rank beginners to internationally known professionals, have come to me for help, inspiration, and insight. Here are just a few comments from workshop attendees:
"Doug Lipman has coached me for years. He is a delightful, incisive teacher...a joy." - Jay O'Callahan, Marshfield, MA
"The weekend work with you helped to put me in a much more powerful place.... Thank you for all you have done for me personally and storytelling in general. The Omaha workshop was an excellent experience!" - Roseanna Ross, St. Cloud, MN
"I have learned from your workshops that, under the right
learning conditions, people's excellence WILL be expressed. There are
learning conditions that encourage human excellence." - Lynne Burns, Ilion, NY
Why should I take this now?
Maybe you shouldn't. Maybe you're not ready.
But before you decide to delay registering - or even to let this chance go - think about this:
- The content of a similar workshop—recordings, exercises, and
more—is now available—in the Image
Riding Toolkit™. The toolkit costs $495. But only those 12 people who register for one of these workshops
will receive my individualized attention and help.
- If you are NOT creating stories easily, you are losing time and opportunities.
If you are struggling to create stories, write stories, or even adapt
stories in a way that preserves their vigor, you may be wasting effort.
Imagine how much further along you - and your storytelling - might be
in a year. How much is speeding up a year's development worth to you?
You can't lose!
If you tell for fun, you'll find your enjoyment greatly increased.
If you tell professionally, you'll find yourself able to accept more jobs, create more new programs, and succeed more often - because you'll have fresh, vital stories that are uniquely yours.
Give me a chance to prove to you that you have the ability to create endless numbers of stories. This workshop is completely guaranteed. If you don't think it lived up to your expectations, then I'll refund your money.
This guarantee is especially important when you realize that other workshop leaders don't offer one! Who else will make this promise:
If you're not delighted, pleasantly surprised, and thrilled with
the results of this workshop, I'll give you a check for
every penny you paid!
Register now, before
these workshops fill up and you miss the early-bird prices. You can register
online, or via phone, fax, or mail. With a 100%
money-back, hassle-free guarantee, you can't lose!
"My telephone imaging partners and I have conducted weekly sessions since the March workshop, and we've found that the process is absolutely amazing!
"The stories that I want to develop are law enforcement safety-related. I've based a new story on a true-life episode, and used imaging to just about create the whole thing. Transcribing the tapes helps me to remember and organize. I am so utterly amazed and delighted with this process!"
- Joyce Nelson, Police Department, Golden, CO
Yours in storytelling and creativity,
|"The biggest self-doubt that I carried with me to
the workshop was my conviction that I was not artistic, that I could adapt
but could not create. My image-maker itself proved to me that it WAS there
and that I could tap into it at any time as long as I “trusted the
process.” And now, every time I start to doubt my artistic nature,
I simply start a session – it's hard to not believe in something
when you “see” it happening."—Suzie Shaeffer,
Ormond Beach, FL
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This page was last updated May 6, 2009