❄️ Freezethawed: The Newsletter #042 - The Dinner Test
It has been a hot minute since I last spoke to you folks! For those not keeping count, a good six weeks have passed since my last newsletter. Here’s why.
Often we begin a hobby or practice out of pure interest and curiosity, but over time it becomes a chore to continue. Instead of us being in control, it sometimes ends up controlling us. Keeping that very thought in mind, I didn’t want this newsletter to take any direction remotely close. So, it was decided that, whenever I’d feel writing was getting too overwhelming, I would take a break.
Not that I needed one this time, but I had been dishing out newsletters for eight months and I wanted to remind myself that I could take a short pause whenever I wanted.
There's another reason. When I began the newsletter as well as the website, I just wanted to get the ball rolling. Shifting from inertia of rest to inertia of motion is the hardest thing. So I worked on the cheapest, quickest and fastest method to get started. However, what I ended up with was a cumbersome website on WordPress. Over this break, the entire website has been rebuilt from the ground up and is now hosted on Ghost! It feels fresh and alive. The website also has a new paint job and is flush with new features that I can’t wait to explore.
That’s what I’ve been upto! Weekly newsletter will resume.
At this juncture, I would like to thank you for sticking with me, for whatever it’s worth. Also, I’d love it if you would go over and check the new website here, as well as maybe recommend my newsletter to at least one more friend!
The Dinner Test
In an effort to become a better storyteller in general, I've been reading Storyworthy by Mathew Dicks. I've come across a very realistic insight he makes which I would like to share with you today.
Often, we sit with a group of friends trying to narrate a hilarious incident that happened the night before, or want to describe the holiday we recently took. Or, sometimes we may be called upon to tell a story in front of an audience.
Mathew shares three pointers to help us make our stories more engaging, and hence make us better storytellers.
1. Your own story - Try to tell your own story, or at least your narration/ your side of another person's story that keeps you as the protagonist.
2. Change - Your story must reflect change over time. You must start out as one version of yourself and end as something new. It can be infinitesimal. It might not even be an improvement in yourself or your character, but change must happen. It's much easier said that done, but a very handle tool to use.
3. The Dinner Test -
- Any story must pass The Dinner Test: is the story similar to a story you would tell a friend at dinner?
- No poetry and no gestures.
- No unattributed dialogue.
- If you wouldn't tell it at dinner that way, don't tell it onstage that way.
- Be planned and prepared but be off the cuff and extemporaneous - don't make it a performance, make it something like telling a story over dinner
These three points, have elevated my perception of storytelling and I hope it does the same for you.
Until next time,
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Anujeet’s book journey
Over the past few months I finished:
Hyperfocus - Chris Bailey
The Courage To Be Happy - Fumitake Koga, Ichiro Kishimi
And Then They Were None - Agatha Christie
The 5AM Club - Robin Sharma
Currently I am reading:
Storyworthy - Matthew Dicks
Aggregate, the weekly quote
"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”
Harmony, the weekly song
Magic - Coldplay