Storytelling Breakdown Blog Entry 020

Paying Attention – By Ben Clemmer.

A few blog posts back, I wrote about starting to teach a COMM 121 class at my alma mater. One thing I have regularly attempted to expose my students to is TED. I’ve pulled in talks dealing with everything from procrastination to being a better listener. I’ve shown talks from our local TEDxFortWayne event to show community connections and I’ve shown talks that fit nearly perfectly within the rubric of the next speech I would grade my students on. I’ve also shown talks with the goal of highlighting different aspects of a speaker’s performance. That was my intention with a TED Talk given by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but after watching it several times in the last couple of weeks, his central idea has hit home with me on a deeper level.

I’ll let JGL give you the details. Seriously, give his talk a watch if you haven’t before. He contrasts the struggle and lack of fulfillment that comes with doing your art for attention, rather than paying attention to the creativity because it is fulfilling to do just that. 

What matters more? The joy of performing the song or the size of the audience?

Though this year has certainly turned that idea on its head.

This is where I should highlight the universal aspects of creativity. I’m part of the CreativeMornings team for the Fort Wayne chapter of the organization, and there’s a section of the manifesto for the group that references that everyone is creative. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, we all have some form of creative capacity to express.

And we can get so much joy out of just expressing that creativity because there is joy in that act.

I saw a clip of an interview with Freddie Mercury where he was asked about his end goal. I’m not exactly sure where in his career he would have been at this point and what project warranted the media appearance, but he gave an answer to the question that pointed out he didn’t need an ultimate goal. Not every undertaking requires a grand plan. Mercury said he was just being himself and doing what he wanted to do, and there’s so much wisdom is doing that.

What is something you do that gives you joy as you dive into the process? If you aren’t doing it now, what can you do to make it a part of your life?

Yesterday was Batman’s 82nd birthday. Two years ago, Batman’s 80th birthday made me realize I wanted to create a space to have conversations about pop culture topics. Caleb Meyer came over and the ideas we had that evening became Storytelling Breakdown.

What is something you do that gives you joy as you dive into the process? Thankfully, for me Storytelling Breakdown is one very good answer to that question. We’re now 20 blog posts deep and our tenth episode will be coming out before the end of the April. There’s also another podcast project that’s beginning to pick up steam in pre-production, but more to come on that later.

Though for those of you who want to speculate on it, I did reference it in last week’s blog post.

Also, our newest and longest episode dropped last Friday. Check it out!

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