Making sense of life using traditional tales

Thu, June 27, 2019 by Sita

Adam Sargant has a love for traditional folktales which began in his early childhood, using this he brings his passion to life by gathering various events here at Settle Stories.

Growing up his favourite was the tales of King Arthur and Robin Hood. As a teenager he thrived on the works of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper and translations of the Mabinogion. Adam first started telling stories in a traditional sense when he was invited to play didgeridoo for Australian Aboriginal Elder and storyteller Francis Firebrace. Afterwards, Francis kindly gave him permission to tell some of his tales. This is where it all began for Adam.

Following this he started to include storytelling in his NLP/hypnotherapy practice, when he worked as a mental health nurse and used therapeutic metaphor as a component of therapy.

Adam has now been telling stories for several years at festivals and storytelling groups, taking stories from various sources as well as crafting his own. Adam visited the Dales in April to explore how story and mindfulness can motivate and empower people to make change.

In 2018, Adam is facilitating a 6 week online course ‘Your Hero Journey’.

Participants went on a transformational journey though your own creative writing. The course will helped people make sense of life through the medium of traditional tales.

Traditional stories have survived for generations, in some cases for thousands of years. This is because they provide a psychological template for personal growth & resilience. They help us face challenge and learn to deal with trauma.

We caught up with Adam to find out more…

Q – What is your favourite type of creative writing? E.g. Movie & TV scripts, fiction, songs

I enjoy writing short fictional pieces that have a folktale feel or folktale elements to them, usually with some form of hidden/subliminal metaphorical content

Q – How do you begin to improve a piece, where do you start?

That’s hard. I’m most satisfied with the pieces that require little reworking. I like to work with inspiration when it comes and I often find that too much reworking kills of the original inspiration. On the other hand, when I’m writing “in the flow”, my awareness of sentence construction can go somewhat to pot, so once something has been written down, I will walk away from it for a while and then come back to it with the question “How do I make the reading of this flow more readily?” in mind.

Q – What makes you happy?

My family. My puppy. Sunny days outside. Happy people.

Q – How do you keep yourself motivated?

Almost all my projects are parts of larger projects that form parts of desirable goals for me, projects that excite me. That tends to keep motivation high.

Q – How do you keep yourself focused when you’re writing a specific piece? (to not lose concentration)

If I can’t, I don’t. While there is a value to the discipline of focus, there is also value in listening to what your own attention is telling you. If I am unable to congruently focus on a creative task at a given time, I find it easier to do something else and come back to it another time.

Q – What’s your guilty pleasure?

Young Adult Fiction? Both as TV series and books. I find that they tend to exploit myth and folktales very effectively as metaphors for rites of passage.

Q – What’s your favourite snack?

Hummus and avocado on rye

Q – Who’s your favourite author?

I have to honestly say I cannot name one… I enjoy reading too much. One of my favourite recent reads has been The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Although if it came down to a life or death question, I would probably say Ursula K. Le Guin.

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