Art and Storytelling · Art As Conversation · Feeling God's Pleasure · Trust Issues · Uncategorized

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

I’m not very good at “improv” games.  I’ve heard it said that writers usually aren’t because they’re trained in careful, disciplined choices of language and “improv” encourages spontaneous dialogue and interaction.   “Improv” doesn’t have rules, or judgment, or make room for “error” because there isn’t any.  There are no criteria to live up to or judge by.  The only requirement is the willingness to participate and openness to spontaneity.  "Improv"

But it takes courage to play “improv.”  You have put away self-consciousness, trust yourself and the other players, “be present” in the moment, and follow the process where it leads.  It’s also not a “secret” process or one accomplished in your prayer closet.  It’s out in the open, public, usually with an audience who participates and responds by approving (or not) through clapping, hooting, laughing, friendly yells, yawning in boredom or checking their cell phones.

I am a good audience for “improv.”  I usually catch a joke, or see the possibility of one when it wasn’t intended.  I laugh well.  But I can also see where I can add some “improv” to my life.  I can recognize the many areas of life where I can be spontaneous and make decisions purely for the enjoyment and pleasure they offer.  Not everything in life bears a heavy moral or ethical dilemma or is reason to be “outraged.”  I’ve blogged about Eric Liddell and feeling God’s pleasure.  Maybe it’s time for me to discover more of my own!

5 thoughts on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?

  1. Thank you so much, Lora, for this post. I needed to hear it. It’s difficult for someone soaked in the rules, taught to do everything “right”, to throw open the door to the room of creativity. I remember trying to learn the modern dances (in the 50s), concentrating on the steps. I never could dance until I just said “to heck with it” and fell into the rhythm I felt inside. Writing can be like that for me. I tend to get trapped trying to follow a form or telling everything I know about the subject.

  2. I happily stand corrected! I guess I need to play improv again to refresh my memory. I’ve changed since I last time I played it, in your class. May give me a new blog.

  3. Lora, thank you for this post. I have been stuck for a while and this has given me a hint about getting unstuck!

  4. Actually, there are rules for improv – but if it’s being done well, they never show! And I firmly believe that improv improves my writing – when i’m actively rehearsing or performing improv, my writing is much easier – go for it, gurl!

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