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“It’s a miracle what happens when people are invited into a safe space and invited to speak their hearts and speak their minds. There’s no wrong way to do it, you just drop onto the page and you go.” – Bruce Gelfand
I’m so excited to bring today’s amazing guest back to Finding Brave to share his expertise with you. Not only has Bruce Gelfand been my own writing coach, but he has been so instrumental in my life in many ways beyond writing. In this episode, he dives deeper into the tremendous impact that writing your own story, and sharing it with others, will have on your life.
Based in Santa Monica, CA, Bruce has over 30 years of experience in theater, film, television, and publishing in both New York and Hollywood. His plays have won national playwriting awards, and been produced Off-Broadway and in theaters around the country. He has written numerous feature films and movies for television, and has written and directed the feature-length documentary, “The Family Safe.” He is also a writer of fiction, non-fiction, songs, and award-winning poetry. His book, Brighter the Light, Deeper the Shadow was published in 2004. His many screenplays include “Rainbow Man.” Bashert,” “Touched,” “The House at Otowi Bridge” and, most recently, “Refugee,” an adaptation of the award-winning Holocaust memoir “Choices.”
Bruce is also a renowned writing teacher and coach. He has taught at Emerson College in Boston, and in the M.F.A. program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and taught hundreds of writing workshops and seminars in venues around the world—from gang members in LA to patients in the Mind-Body Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard. He has worked with tens of thousands of writing students – from masters in the field to absolute beginners. His current online course, A WRITERS’ HOUR, is being used by writers all over the world.
Bruce has a list of private coaching clients that range from age 10 to age 95, and includes CEOs, corporate trainers, Academy and Emmy-Award winning writers, directors, actors, and leaders in the worlds of politics, health, and spirituality.
Today’s conversation with Bruce is deeply inspiring as he shares how everyone has a riveting story to tell, and the process of giving yourself permission to find and hone your voice – and use it to contribute to the world – can be learned, and is a transformational experience when you do.
Enjoy this, and don’t miss next week’s Part 2 of this uplifting conversation.
Highlights from this Episode:
- Why the process of writing out our stories is so powerful, and how Bruce’s Writer’s Hour came to be [6:39]
- How there is no right, wrong or “perfect” way to you write your story, [9:18]
- The reason that Bruce is a big believer in writing in the present tense [9:34]
- What I realized about myself from my time working with Bruce, and his thoughts on why the writing process can be terrifying for many people [13:45]
- How he believes that everyone is a genius, and has the ability to write a story that can impact others [16:21]
- What happens when a writer is encouraged, from the very first day of the writing process, to speak from his or her private heart and is given a safe space in which to do it [17:46]
- What is exciting for him in watching his students write and uncover what’s inside of them [18:57]
- The impact he sees technology and the media have on storytelling across the globe [20:37]
- What is “doom scrolling” and why so many people are doing it right now [23:59]
For More Information:
Bruce’s program from writers – A Writers’ Hour
Bruce’s Online Writing Classes
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QUOTES FROM TODAY’S SHOW:
“Anybody who steps into the ring with a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen [to write], I can’t not love and root for.” [6:55]
“People want to connect with other people in a way that is safe, and in a way in which they can be seen, heard, and to tell their story while being held in community.” [8:00]
“I believe that the more we write in the present tense and the more we live in the present, the more present and less tense we are.” [9:44]
“Everybody is a genius. I’ve always believed this, and I believe everybody is divinely charged and pulsed.” [16:21]
“Part of what’s exciting is watching someone begin to unravel and untangle some of those knots that they didn’t even know were, very often, living inside of them.” [18:57]
“Our stories are constantly being re-written as we live and as we learn.” [20:38]
“Everything is a story and everything is a narrative. It has everything to do with who’s telling the story, why they’re telling it and what their agenda is.” [20:52]
“People are storytelling from their own lives, their own hearts, their own bodies, and their own souls even, and it’s exciting.” [24:35]
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