"It has given me a new resolve and a new direction to put my energy. It
makes it seem more possible."—Lois Lew, weaver and storyteller, Sharon, MA
Have you dreamed of being a full-time storyteller? Are you living that dream
It's a great dream: living a life of creativity. Having a life where work
is integrated with your art. Having the stuff of your daily life come from
the same source as your values.
All too often, though, the actuality falls short. Afraid of not making ends
meet, you end up frantically seeking work, taking anything offered to you.
Much of this work is unsatisfying - for you and for your employers. When you're
working frantically, you don't have time to get the word out for future jobs,
so you experience alternating periods of "too busy" and "too
You get swamped with all the details of running your storytelling business.
Record-keeping. Publicity. Marketing. Phone calls with prospective employers.
Before you know it, weeks have gone by since you worked on a new story. Feeling
scattered and unappreciated, you realize your life feels scarcely more creative
than it did when storytelling was just a hobby.
You conceive plans to make things better. You write a grant. You apply for
a festival. You record a CD. Some of these pan out, others die in the bud.
Even the ones that come to fruit seem to add to the problem as much as they
help. Suddenly you have grant reports to write, a new audition tape to make
for the next festival, and a closet of CD's to sell somehow.
"The seminar was so helpful. It has helped focus my desire to pursue storytelling
full time in some way or variety of ways.
"Since the seminar, I have focused more on my passions. I have turned
down a large project that seemed good at first, but would would have taken
me away from what I really want to do."—Millie Jackson, professor, libarian,
storyteller, Grand Rapids, MI
If you haven't given up by now, you try redefining the problem.
You decide that the problem is your level of storytelling skills. So you attend
workshops, get coaching, go to conferences. All these help your ability to
tell, your sense of purpose, and your connections with other storytellers,
but don't have much effect on the kind of life you're
You decide you need to learn business skills. You take workshops with the
Small Business Association, or get a volunteer business mentor with S.C.O.R.E.
These help you understand the requirements and norms for small businesses,
but seem to add a whole new list of "should get to's" to the stack
on your desk. Your life is seeming less creative than ever.
You decide to work harder. You give up more and more of your leisure activities,
family time, and personal care. This brings some results, but doesn't really
improve the overall quality of your life. And it doesn't help the fragmentation
"I cannot tell you, as a result of one insight alone, what a difference
the workshop has made for me. I am enjoying everything I do now, from performances
to the enormous amount of time I must spend on the new projects. Thank
you, really, thank you."—Judy Gail, professional storyteller, Miami, FL
"The seminar was great, thank
you. I totally admire your marketing, storytelling, and coaching skills.
- Marion Besmehn, Carmel, CA
Which of the following best describes your current condition, compared to
the bleak picture described above:
I'm just contemplating going "pro" and want to avoid burnout.
begun to notice some of the symptoms.
I've "hit bottom." I don't
know if I can go on.
I've already given up. Maybe I'd try again if I had
a better plan.
If you find yourself somewhere in that list, I can promise you that I understand.
I have been freelancing since 1971. I've experienced it all:
Distance from my creativity
Desperation for work
Prolonged feelings of inadequacy
Huge piles of unfinished paperwork
Depletion of my physical and emotional "capital."
A life that
seemed out of control
Which of the above symptoms have you experienced?
"While Lipman's work is grounded in the storytelling revival, the principles, structures, and techniques are suitable for helping people of all ages improve at any kind of communication." - The Catalyst Centre
In the course of three-plus decades of freelancing, I've slowly learned a
whole new way to look at the problem. My life is not perfect, but I have gained
a sense of balance and integration. And most of the change is due to a few
Recently, I was leading a multi-day workshop on Creating Stories from Images
(one of my key techniques for rapid creativity, by the way). One of the attendees
said, "Would you consider offering a workshop about how to organize your
storytelling life? You know, how to keep track of everything and not let the
important things get lost?"
That request put me to thinking. Much of what I've learned can be boiled down
to a few key principles and their practical applications. It's actually a bigger
topic than just keeping organized. It's about how to structure your storytelling
I decided not to wait for the workshop. After all, it will only reach a dozen
tellers at a time. And it will cost at least $400 per person, not to mention
travel and lodging.
To help more people learn how to take control of their storytelling lives,
I offered a one-hour telephone seminar. Of course, I couldn't cover everything
that I'll cover in a three- or four-day workshop. But all the attendees learned
enough to make a difference RIGHT AWAY.
I was surprised, myself, when I listened...
I offered the seminar via telephone three times. I first intended to issue
the best of the three as a one-hour recording. But the recordings surprised
me in two ways:
Since different people were on the line each time, I covered somewhat different
topics, to respond to their unique situations.
The questions-and-answers from the live seminar were instructive and exciting.
Hearing people ask for explanations, additional information, or just how
the info applies to their situations makes it all come alive in a new way.
As a result, I decided to create a "best of" recording compiled from all three
live seminars. The result is 102 minutes of information, available on 2 cassettes
or 2 CD's.
Best of all, you can listen
to it from the convenience of your own home.
"I think you are the best communicator I have ever heard or have seen... Thank
you for all of your work you do. The countless hours you spend helping people
express themselves is really quite a marvelous use of your communcative
skills. The books you write to help people are really special. Thank you so much
for giving of yourself Doug." - Jan Kilburg, Milton-Freewater, OR
"Doug Lipman has coached me for years. He is an incisive, creative, supportive
- Jay O'Callahan, Marshfield, MA
"When my hand-picked crew of international coaches was about to begin a critical
mission, I chose Doug Lipman to help train them further." - Cheryl deCiantis,
Center for Creative Leadership, Brussels.
Of course, no seminar - especially one that's only 102 minutes long - can
completely neutralize our society's attitudes toward arts, children, and storytelling
in particular. Professional storytelling will always be a greater adventure
than most "standard" jobs.
But I guarantee that you will find this recorded telephone seminar to be jam-packed
with effective, clear, and time-tested ways to brighten your storytelling life
- or I'll refund your money completely...