Writing from a Theme

This is a transcript of the Stories We Don’t Tell Podcast, Episode 89: Writing on a Theme.

We're back. It seems like we've only been gone for about four months and that's because we have. Well it's very exciting because we're gearing up at the time of this recording for our first event of the season.

We started the season off and we kind of ended the season off of the podcast with a short little series that we like to call five and five After Dark.

What we did is or what we've done in the past in these five and five series is to kind of do lightning round five minute little episodes of writing tips and storytelling tips and things that we've learned along the way.

Click on the image to listen to Episode 89 of the podcast.

Click on the image to listen to Episode 89 of the podcast.

I think you might agree that I personally have been struggling finding some time writing and getting back into the groove of actually writing consistently over the past months. And so this is sort of our way to maybe give ourselves some challenges. I was getting a little squeezed out by the end of our events last year. You need stuff to happen to you. I am looking forward to some of these challenges because I still don't have a lot of stuff going on. So, we’ll riff on an idea and at the end give a challenge to the listener and ourselves of a thing to write about or give yourself a bit of a push to try to do something.

All right so the first one is something that we've been using for a bit of time actually - the idea of taking themes instead of plots. So some of you may be aware that more often than not when you are thinking of writing a story or especially talking about yourself you go back into your brain for important moments in your life. And then you try to write those and at some point you run out of those important stories or you just aren't in the right mood or any of the reasons why you might not want to write about a particular experience. In a way to expand your repertoire and expand your writing options is to take a theme you're thinking about and then try to look for a an event in your life that fits this theme.

Like, this is a thing that I would like to talk about or this is an idea that I'd like to explore. And then what's kind of cool is you sort of explore this idea. Then you start to go this thing happened to me that relates to this theme. You write that all out and then you start to see certain patterns and you can start to shape it and start to kind of insert your own experiences into it. I think it also affords you a little bit more flexibility to explore the ideas that you want to talk about in a different kind of way. Then be able to see yourself in these themes or understand a little bit more why you were even interested in talking about it in the first place and how it affects your life.

The challenge is to take a theme, maybe go back if you do daily writing or even journaling, and see if there's a scene coming back or perhaps just think about the conversations you've been having with people around you. Or even pick something you’ve been thinking about or find really interesting right now. Challenge yourself to write on that theme. And then once you get some of it out, see if you can start placing it over a portion of your life.

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