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W. Korol Selley

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And What Do You Do?
By W. Korol Selley   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, July 04, 2010
Posted: Sunday, July 04, 2010

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Two potent questions: And what do you do? -- What's your story?

"And what do you do?" is the prevalent question I get asked when I attend social functions.  I've been at my own art openings and I'm asked that question.  I respond by pointing out my work and I add, "I write as well."  I see the brows raise and the next question is, "Have you published?"  I nod my head.  And they they say, "Why haven't I heard of you before?"  I smile and say, "You have--right now?"  And then when they are done asking me about my work in general, I get to ask that one powerful question.  When I ask, "And what's your story?" that one question unleahes a flood of information and ideas.  For most, it's refreshing to have someone ask them how they are doing.  When you ask them that one question, you reach their comfort zone.  People love to talk about themselves and every aspect of their lives if given the chance.  They will first tell you of their most recent event.  From there, you can judge if it was positive or not.  In paying attention and focusing on their body language, you know if the conversation can continue.  In asking about their upbringing, their friends, family, work and their grandest dreams, so much inspiration can be gathered and harnessed and embellished upon to make a great story.  Ideas come from everywhere, but the best inspiration comes from simple conversation.  A good conversation between two or more people can be the greatest high, or call it mental enrichment. There's no mental fatigue in trying to come up with a story line.  It's all freely given to a good listener.   A novel length work can be the outcome of one evening spent with others and asking, "And what's your story?"  After listening carefully, their stories, in essence can become the next novel you write. 

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Reviewed by Donna Chandler 7/5/2010
Excellent advice. One can gain an abundance of information just by LISTENING.


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