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"Not just food for thought . . . A whole banquet of ideas!" - Nancy Camp, professional actor, producer, storyteller, Washington DC

The Storytelling Dream Life—
And How to Keep It from Being a Nightmare

A Recorded Seminar by Doug Lipman

Order the recording - now shipping!



It's a Great Dream!

"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 now?

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 poor."

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


Your Solutions?

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 living.

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 you feel.


"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



Where Are YOU?

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.
  • I've 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


There IS a Way Out

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 key concepts.

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 life.

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:

  1. Since different people were on the line each time, I covered somewhat different topics, to respond to their unique situations.
  2. 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.

Order the two-cassette recording for $29.95 (plus shipping and handling; add $10 for two CD's)

"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 teacher...a joy" - 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.

What the Seminar Covers

Does a balanced, creative work life seem like some impossible goal out of a fairy tale? Well, this audio seminar reveals the path to a happy ending.

On these two cassettes, you'll find the map of the swamps you must traverse, the helpful gnomes beside the trail, and the shortcuts to the treasure.

In particular, you'll find these practical helps:

• the fallacies our society strews like sink-holes on our path - and how not to fall for them.

• how to let your passion be your guide - so that you have plenty of energy for the long haul

• the four strategies for discovering and claiming your passion so you can put it at the center of your life.

• how to avoid the "Marlboro Man" trap and get the support you really need

• three kinds of buddies to be sure you put in your life

• how to create sequential deadlines to get your work done without fretting.

• how to use a long-term goal to organize your resources - without becoming a slave to it.

• how to find a niche that uses your talents while making your marketing easier.

• how to use the ways you get in trouble as a "secret trick" for getting your work done easily.

• one thing you can do over time that will attract helpers to you

• the special value of "single-role relationships."

• why "marketing" is not a dirty word - and how to use your own preferred ways to spend time, to get the word out to those who hunger for your work.

• how to build your marketing on relationships, not on "selling."

• how to juggle multiple forms of income without getting dizzy or exhausted

• how to build your approach to the "administrivia" around what you find energizing - not what drains you.

• three strategies to follow when your energy doesn't match the demands of your situation

• using "routinizing" to attach difficult tasks to what you are eager to do - so that the unpleasant gets done with the "spill-over" energy.

• why you should avoid using will-power - and more sustainable ways to get necessary tasks done.

• a primary strategy to keep your efforts from being sabotaged by unhealed emotional hurts.

If you take away even one of these practical principles that improves your storytelling life, this recorded seminar is an incredible bargain!


Guaranteed Useful—Or Your Money Back

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...

All the best,




Doug Lipman

152 Wenonah Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106 U.S.A.
Phone: (781) 837-1940
Alternate Phone (rings the same line): (413) 754-6728
Fax (toll-free): (888) 300-6665

This page was last updated on April 30, 2004
Copyright©2004 Doug Lipman