Since posting Part 1 and Part 2 of The Journey of a First-Time Storyteller on my blog, I’ve had several conversations with people who want to learn more about digital storytelling. Much like Tina Antrobus, who was featured in those earlier blogs and whose digital story was screened recently at artsPlace, they’re curious to learn if and how digital storytelling could enhance their personal or professional experience.
It all starts with a story
To recap, Tina and I met earlier this year. We decided to collaborate in co-creating her digital story. It was a chance for both of us to enhance our professional practices by exploring the idea of client – or in the case with my work, storyteller – wellbeing. If you missed these explorative discussions, you can watch them here: Digital Storytelling – Conversations with a first-time storyteller.
Tina, a clinical counsellor, knows that storytelling forms the foundation of her work. Ultimately, peoples’ stories are what bring Tina’s clients to her as it is often the act of bringing these stories to light that allows for healing and managing the painful issues that are lodged deep within.
For myself, co-creating a digital story with Tina gave me the opportunity to gain more insight and understanding around how to support my own clients in sharing their personal stories.
Tina’s digital storytelling experience
Tina shared in our final session together that she experienced a range of emotions throughout the process of creating her digital story. She felt satisfaction and a sense of completion once she’d opened up to me about her own experiences with pain and loss, but admits there was a wide variety of feelings that came up – cathartic and grounding feelings – throughout the process of preparing, telling, illustrating, and later finalizing her digital story. As her story moved from the ethereal to the real, Tina acknowledged that this range of emotions related to creating a physical media piece depicting her story. This action both calmed her and caused her some unexpected vulnerability.
Larger than the sum of its parts
Tina also realized that the benefits of producing her story went much deeper than she originally expected. While she did experience the catharsis of sharing her story with an objective (relative) stranger, she noted that in doing so, she achieved a distance from the painful details. This separation offered her a healing perspective. She could draw a line between her own self-judgment about her feelings of shame and unworthiness among others which allowed her to see the value her voice had in helping others to process their own reactions to their own story. This perspective reminded her that she was not alone with her feelings and that others would benefit from watching her story.
Another thing Tina appreciated is that she was in control of her own story. Though Tina agreed to make her story available to others who are considering going through the digital storytelling process for themselves, she felt comfort in knowing that any time she wanted to, she could choose to keep her digital story private and only share it when and if she wanted.
What about your story?
Perhaps you’re feeling curious about using digital storytelling in your business or about creating one to tell a personal story. If that’s you, visit my website for details on upcoming info sessions, workshops and screenings where you can learn more.