Taming A Huffy Storytelling Pedant

I used to get a bit huffy when people said things like ‘have you been reading any more stories lately?’   

I would quickly explain to them that I don’t ‘read’ stories, its storytelling, without notes, not recited - you can look your audience in the eye, you are describing pictures in your mind, not telling from remembered or read words, and that this is not a small detail difference, its a quantum leap difference.

Not surprisingly the conversation took a nose dive; I always sounded tight, brittle, inflexible and pedantic, they felt ticked off, insulted, uncomfortable and defensive, and we moved on or away as soon as possible.

Eventually I realised it didn’t matter.  Not that it doesn’t matter if tellers read or tell, that is still at the heart of oral storytelling, its just that it doesn’t matter if someone uses the wrong language to describe it, or even understand it.  

If the conversation keeps going, they’re interested and it seems appropriate, I might mention the difference, but now I have given up the need to set them straight, it is a much gentler explanation.  
And better still I try to show not tell, through storytelling events, podcasts, and blogs like this!