What I learned from Lynda Barry

In 2001, I took a week-long workshop with Lynda Barry! Here's what I learned, and how I had to adapt it for myself.

I was extremely fortunate to take a week-long workshop in person with Lynda Barry back in 2001. A LOONG time ago now!
That workshop, "Writing the Unthinkable" was all about "seeing your story" and following behind it, "like water skiing."

The Amazing Amazing Lynda Barry!

It was great! She taught us so much about memory, and place, and envisioning yourself in a scene.

But for me, it was hard, too! I didn't have the focus to keep it up.

I was too squirrelly.

I had to invent something else I could keep up myself.

It was all about avoiding the inner critic.

Lynda joked that if you saw the inner critic in a bar, he would be the BIGGEST ASSHOLE but we STILL LISTEN TO HIM!
Her trick was to concentrate on moving your hand, and watching your hand make lines, and letters and forms.
That way, the story could come out from the back of the brain. It works, and I try to get into that state sometimes too, even still.

But I had to find my own way.

I had to find something where I could TRICK the inner critic. Outrun it. I formalized a system that I had used for years, but never could outline the steps. Now I can!
And I will share them with you now.

This is how you trick the inner critic.

  1. You make a list of things to draw from and forget the list. It's so random-seeming the critic won't think it's much of a threat.
  2. Then you start doodling from that list By the time he (the asshole in the bar!) catches on that you are actually drawing, then we play a new game, listing and writing again! The inner critic is confused!
  3. Now we flush him out of the room! We add so much material it couldn't all be important.
  4. Now we can gently use the critic outside our head. We ask him, what's good, what should we keep.
  5. We find a good network to help root us on. Sometimes people don't finish. That's ok. This enough is a super experience!
I say it's like YOGA or vinyasa. You don't need to "finish" your yoga. You just do it, and do it again. It connects you to your body, and your creative self.

This is what we'll do and why we call it Storytelling Vinyasa!
We'll build slowly step by step and let ourselves be surprised by what we've come up with!
You'll learn to trust your own ideas and give yourself permission to tell your own stories.

You'll tone and stretch your imagination. 

You'll generate so many ideas you'll have scraps left over. You'll meet your story self.

You'll be granted freedompermission, and a new process, Storytelling Vinyasa. which let's you be you, and try your own ideas on for size.
Limited time class discount!
Sliding Scale Pre-Order Ends in 4 days!

Want to pay $50? Great!
Want to pay $100? Fine!
Want to pay $250? Right on!

We'll see you there!!

This course is similar to one I've taught at SVA for $350. 

Come join me in flowing through 2020!

-Tom at SAW!

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