Once Upon a Time By Barry Mitchell

Write Your Own Stories Part 2
In Part 1 I discussed our motivation to write our own stories. Now let’s look at some tools to help.

The MATCH – Everything great begins with a spark in someone’s mind. Your story may begin with an idea for a story, a character you wish to develop, a prop you want to enhance, or a message you wish to communicate. All these sparks begin with a match. The match will be the easiest tool for some to find and the most difficult for others. The match is your “open mind.” I told you it might be difficult.

As an entertainer you have a big advantage, you already know how to think like a child. Extend that thinking and develop an even deeper curiosity in your world. As you become more and more excited about the how, why, when, where, and who of your surroundings you’ll see story ideas all around you.

At the time of this writing I’m reading the book “How to Get Ideas,” by Jack Foster. The author taught classes on advertising for years. The students praised the knowledge he gave them about running with an idea and developing it into a successful ad campaign. However, they wanted to learn “how to get the ideas.” Some people can seemingly go a lifetime without a single good idea according to what they say. However, it’s because those people aren’t open to ideas. They are drowning themselves in negative talk. That’s why they don’t find their ideas. But we don’t have to be that way.

“Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together.”
C. Lichtenberg

Begin today by affirming in thought and words that you are an idea factory. Your ideas will change the world. You are open to new experiences, new learning opportunities, new risks, and new ideas. No, this is not a bunch of positive affirmation hooey. It is a proven fact that our words and thoughts change our bodies. You have a choice, believe it, believe in yourself, and speak positively or let the rest of us that do have all the ideas.

Here’s an example of how an open mind can spark a story.

While visiting friends in their beautiful mountain cabin we were watching a hummingbird feed. We began to discuss the miracle of the hummingbird. I was amazed to discover that a single hummingbird weights less than a U.S. penny. That thought alone inspires me as a miracle.

My friends told about a hummingbird being trapped in their garage. While my friend was trying to direct the gentle creature out the door the bird was accidentally caught in a cob web. The small and apparently insignificant web held the bird powerless. My friend rescued the bird and gently removed the web in order to set the bird free. But the bird fell back to the ground. There was still a small amount of web around the bird’s beak. That small amount of web created an imbalance and the bird couldn’t fly.

Now that you’re read the events of my conversation about the hummingbird what did you hear that might make an inspiring story? Possibly you noticed how the bird was powerless under the weight of the apparently insignificant web. Did you recognize the possible comparison between the trapped bird and our inability to free ourselves from traps? Or maybe you noticed how the web prevented the bird from having proper balance. Maybe there is something in your life that hinders your balance. Or course you may have simply noticed the miracle flight of the hummingbird and been inspired to research more information about them.

I hope this little example has inspired you to search for your “match” or “open mind.” We’ll cover more tools in the next issue. If you ever have questions or thoughts feel free to email me at BarryMitchell@aol.com. Stay tuned until our next once upon a time.

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