The storytelling process helps those who share their stories to begin a personal reflective process. Stories that have not been reflected upon or processed can become overwhelming. In order to speak one’s own story and in order to tell an effective story the speaker must understand their own story and think how it has affected them personally. Thinking through one’s experiences offers a chance to respond to personal or world events and experiences, to think through this event and interpret the significance. By finding one’s place in the story, the story becomes clearer to the teller as well as the listener. This creates a more effective story for the listener. Reflecting can be a challenging step but very beneficial. The more refection that is done over a story the more power the storyteller can exert over the story, changing their own history. A storyteller can change their position in history by changing their views of the story. This means one can change their view of themselves as victim to survivor. Storytellers can learn a lot from telling their stories. These stories can provide healing and transformation. The realization, taken from the reflective process, helps shape one’s own natural abilities to become an effective storyteller. Once the storyteller realizes their change they can now own their story and own their experiences. This feeling of ownership over one’s own experiences creates a mental healthiness for the individual.
By reflecting on stories storytellers can realize the lessons they have learned from a specific event in their history. By realizing where they stood before the story and where they are now after, storytellers can realize what they have learned, where they fit into their own history, and what their experience means to them. Storytellers can see how far they have come in their history and can potentially see themselves as having changed. Storytellers can become different people and see the world in a different way. These lessons learned are often realized and articulated in digital stories. Once the realization occurs of where the storyteller had been and where they are now, can promote a change in behavior. This can alter how someone not only views themselves but how they act in the future. Digital storytelling can alter behavior to reach for social change, change of policy and distribution of power.
Without this reflective process people can be overcome by their own stories. The reflective process is to connect and organize one’s own memories. Then think about the meaning of their memories and where they fit into their own history. It is recreating and restructuring one’s memory to express this meaning.
For more information on the topic:
Rule, Leslie. “Digital Storytelling Has Never Been So Easy Or So Powerful.” Knowledge Quest March/April 38 4 (2010): 56-57.
Digital Art and Soul, by Autumn Stephens, East Bay Monthly (August, 2008): http://themonthly.com/up-front-08-08.html
Haven, Kendall F. Story Proof: the Science behind the Startling Power of Story. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.