Create: Behind the Scenes in Creating
Yep, I create Every Single Day. I also practice, rehearse, and refine. It’s all part of the process.
Here’s working on my upcoming talk (Create) along with notes, audio clips, and video rehearsals.
Notes from Spain
I’m in Spain with friends. Good friends. From long ago. We’re having a great time. Every day, I think about and “work on” my speech.
I bring it up at dinner. I talk about it “without talking about it.” There has been some interesting feedback.
A few of the guys are (lightly) making fun of me by saying that they don’t need to create anything. Their lives are complete with drinking wine and having lunch and making it a great time.
“Bradley, watch me create a bottle of wine!”— in thick German accents
I can’t knock it. It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. They’re probably right in that this is what they believe.
There’s just one thing.
I don’t believe them.
Sure, we’re laughing, we’re having a grand old time. You could say we’re “making” memories if I’m this guy who keeps saying we have to make stuff, create things. They’d have a point.
Yet I’m not convinced.
Rich Robinson pasted a piece of something Anne Lamott wrote that I’ll paste here.
“You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs–your truth, your version of things–in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us, and that’s also why you were born.”— Anne Lamott
Your version of things. In your own voice.
There is no studying, no course to take, nothing to memorize. The story is yours and through the telling of it, you are creating.
Early this morning, as I was going over my talk in my meditation, I heard the question from the audience, maybe a silent fear, a quiet questioning of self, something like, “But who am I to tell such a story?”
Who are you?
Who am I?
“Why, you are THE person to tell your story. You are not only the best person to share your voice but the only person who can”— Bradley
What does Anne Lamott say above:
Your truth. Your version of things.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
“Today, we celebrate the life of Samantha Johansen. She watched every episode of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black. She also read lots of books and listened to every album of Bruce Springsteen.”
But what did she create? What did she make? What was hers? What was her story? Did she tell it?
Sorry for the reference to the funeral. It’s sad. It’s so final.
What if we instead celebrated something born. Like, oh, I don’t know, a book. A song. Even a story. What if we started out:
“Today, we celebrate the life of Samantha Johansen. Oh, wait a minute, I’m getting word here. She’s still alive. She’s alive. In fact, hold on a minute, I’m getting news, she’s working on her story, she’s writing a short book about her life up until now. No, wait a minute, it’s not her entire life, it’s about last weekend. She went to Nijmegen. With her daughter. She’s writing about it. She’s almost done. She’s not dead. She’s alive. This is what she’s working on.”
Audience: You only need one person as your audience for your story. Thankfully, that person is always nearby and at least as available as you are. Now while your mother is a loving choice and your dog has more patience and attention than most humans, your true, best audience that wants to hear your story and needs to hear your story is you.
“You don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are–and then do it on purpose.”— Sally Hogshead
“You need to find the aspect of your content that makes you passionately care. The world isn’t changed by people who sort of care.”— Sally Hogshead
- celebrating life,
- consume: lots of Netflix, watching, reading: consuming
- create: but what did she create? what story did she tell?
- Your story:
- Sailboat: not 2 years in a sailboat (that’s his)
- Unique you: Not change, become more of who you are (Hogshead quote: “You don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are–and then do it on purpose.”)
- Sing: Bird song: bird sings because it has a song
- Gift: I want to give you the gift of creation, I want to let yourself allow yourself to create
- Who is the best person to tell this story? You.
- More audience: mother, kids, dog, me.
- Annual celebration (not funeral) of your creation, your story
- Short stories: Not 1 story, but annual stories, tiny outtakes from maybe a certain weekend
- Write, sing, create, do, make
- Celebration: (anno dominee burrito…)
- Gift (today) (non-funeral)
- Your story (you have that)
- Audience: you, mother, dog, me
Let’s Write This Thing Out
I’ve done lots of rehearsals and I keep changing things up. My last few have come in around 5 minutes so I’m good on timing. What do I want to include? Do I keep the funeral bit? I’m going to write it out and read it through and see how that works.
Create (Written Out)
[waving (fake) incense up and down; holding book (bible)]
Anno domino burrito … [singing]
This evening we are here to celebrate the life of Samantha Johansen. She was most known for watching every single episode of all of the Netflix original programs. She also read the entire Harry Potter series. She collected the stories from the screen, from the pages of books, and through song. She inhaled the stories of others like air.
Yet what was her story? What stories did she have to tell?
We won’t know because, of course, she’s now dead. [exaggerated comedic emphasis on dead]
My name is Bradley Charbonneau and this is CREATE.
Wayne Dyer said, “Don’t die with your music still inside you.”
We read books. We watch movies, take classes, listen to music, and share quotes from other people on social media.
But what about our own stories? Who is going to tell those stories?
Maya Angelou said, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, a bird sings because it has a song.”
We all have songs inside of us and do we let them out?
We take in, we consume, we read, watch, listen, and learn. We inhale.
When do we exhale? When will our bird sing?
I have been writing every single day since November 1, 2012. I create on a daily basis and dare I say it has become as important to “let it out” as to “let it in.”
After 7 years of writing daily, here is my suggestion to you while you are still alive: exhale. Don’t wait until you’re famous and/or almost dead to write an autobiography. In fact, don’t even wait until the end of the year and then try to recap the entire year.
I challenge you to write about one scene, one moment in one day that made a difference in your life. That’s a chapter of your story. That’s your song. Only you can tell it and there is no wrong way of telling it–except if you don’t tell it.
Then do it every single day or every single month or even every single year.
I care only that you set your story free on a regular basis.
If you’re concerned about who the audience might be for your story, let me fill you in on a little secret. The audience isn’t the Netflix producer. It’s not the publishing house. It’s not your mom (although she’d listen) or your dad or even your 2-year-old daughter.
Your audience for your own story is someone who is around you all the time. Someone who is both sometimes a critical judge as well as your biggest fan.
The person who needs to hear your story is the same person who is telling it.
Your audience is you.
Make it short, maybe just 10 pages. Maybe it’s 1 page or 100. But there’s only one rule. Get it finished. Make it done. Do it just once per year. Can’t figure out a date? Choose your birthday. Celebrate your life on an annual basis and your gift to yourself and to the world is your song, your story. Here’s the secret deliciousness I’d most like to share with you this evening. As you write out your short story, you will hear your words and see your life from a fresh perspective and this will guide you towards living a life more aligned with your dreams.
Don’t let the stories die inside of you. The bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Here’s the gift I offer you tonight.
We search for answers to life externally. We wait for the input to tell us what to do, how to think, and what our stories should be.
Yet, the answer lies within–it just needs to be let out.
The answer is in the song.
Your answer is in your song.
The answer is not in yet another Netflix show. It’s not in a book you read or a class you take. It’s not something external that will come from someone else.
As you write out even the smallest bit of your story, like an exhaust vent from your soul, it will provide you a lightness and power like no other. It’s transcendence from something that is inside of you to the outside of you and this process, the pathway from in to out is what we need to find the answers.
Writer Anne Lamott said, “You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs–your truth, your version of things–in your own voice.” Your answer is in your song. You learn your answer by singing your song, by telling your story, by exhaling your dreams. [Anno domino enchilada taco pico de gallo … ]
“This evening, we celebrate the life of Samantha Johansen. She’s not dead. She’s alive and this is her story.”
She’s not waiting to create a 7-season Netflix hit. She’s not fumbling through a 489-page saga that she’ll never finish.
She’s taking the smallest elements of her life and exhaling them, singing her song, one tiny chapter at a time.
Will her story be your story? Are you holding in your songs? Are you allowing your dreams to slumber?
All you need is a story.
All you need is your story.
All you need is you.
All you need is to create.