Prep work

Stoke your creative fires with these activities before we gather for storytime. Or learn more about why we’re focusing on stories here.

Shadow fire shapes

1. Daily create

The web makes it possible to reflect and share the flow of your daily work through small acts of daily creativity. Everyday you are at work this week, take 15-20 minutes to observe and create something spontaneously that you can share on the web.

It might be a quick line drawing with a sentence of text, a fragment of writing, a photo, or a video or audio clip. The only criteria is that it grabs you in some way AND you want to share it with each other.

Examples: Maybe it’s a photo of some parsley bravely poking up through the mulch. Or a quick audio reflection on something a volunteer shared with you. Or a one minute video interview.  (Let your creativity flow here- but by all means if you do include someone else, let them know you’re going to share it online.)

This is an opportunity to observe, trust your intuition and practice some creative and technical skills involved in digital storytelling. No criticism here, just try, share, let it go.

How to share your daily creates:  You’ll post them to to the quick by email. Check your email for the address.

Want to try an audio daily create? You can also post via your phone. Check your email for the number.

For inspiration: Alan Levine who will be working to build your new site created the Daily Create site for an open Digital Storytelling course- #ds106. You can sign up for daily creative prompts or browse the archives for ideas.

2. Interview a co-worker

Each year during evaluation I spend time in conversation with staff, asking focused questions, asking random questions, following interesting rabbit trails. In these conversations the important stories start to emerge. Building this practice into your work will unleash stories you can share.

Take no more than 20 minutes to interview one of your co-workers about what they learned and accomplished this year and what they’re looking ahead to. Then both of you take at least 10 minutes to record (write? doodle? audio/video note?) your reflections on the interview. Bring these along when we get together.

It doesn’t matter who interviews who, but let’s try to make sure everyone interviews a different person.

Examples: What did you learn at work this work?” “What are you harvesting?”
“What seeds got planted this past year that you are curious to observe and tend?”

You might also ask:

“What grew  in the margins of your work that you find exciting or troublesome?”
“What aspects of your work would you like to weed out (and let rot into some stinky but awesome green manure tea)?”
More questions from an earlier EGP planning session.

Inspiration: Sometimes asking the big question directly causes minds to go blank. Try how, what, when, where, why, open and closed (yes or no) questions. Ask a question that invites the interviewee to engage their senses.   As interviewer, your job is to try and get at some juicy stories. Be curious.

3. Gather an example of organizational storytelling you like

Forage through your junk mail, snail mail, email for examples of other organizations telling their stories online, in print reports, newsletters.  Bring them along next Monday; or if they’re on the web send me the links as you find them.

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