When we hear the words ‘get lost’, it’s never really a good thing. Being lost is never a good thing. Either way, the feelings of loneliness, sadness and giving up are evoked within us in these situations. However, I encourage all of you to get lost. Get lost in writing, storytelling, reading, life and everything else in between. This is starting to sound a bit inspirational, which it isn’t meant to be. What I’m really trying to say is one of the most beautiful things about storytelling is the ability to get lost in it.
The reason why I fell in love with storytelling was because I did exactly that. One day, I was sitting on my bed with a book in hand (I even remember which book, but that’s for another post!) and I was absolutely transfixed by it. It is part of a series, which I loved (and still do—again, more on that in a future post!), and I just wanted to know what would happen next. Before I knew it, I was transported to this other setting. I had such vivid details in my head. I was with the characters. I forgot I was on my bed. I was completely lost in the story and it was one of the best things that happened to me.
This is starting to sound a bit like a creative writing journey post. Why I love storytelling and my journey do go hand in hand, although it is not the main focus of this post. The focus is simply the feeling of getting lost. It’s a fantastic experience and it is fascinating when it happens. You never know which book it will happen in next. Some stories I don’t get lost in so extremely, but I am able to switch myself off to the world, and I think there is a distinct difference here.
I’m not sure if it is the same for any of you that read this, but I don’t experience that same physical transportation or vivid imagery in all books that I read or stories I experience. I also don’t think that I must experience it to enjoy them. I’m not sure if it depends on the people we are and what we are more receptive to, but it might be. If it were something researchable, I’d do it (and maybe I will one day!). However, there is something special about it.
Some people might not ever experience the vivid imagery I did that day back when I was a wee lass. I don’t think getting lost requires us to feel that way either. Sometimes, to find a book, movie, video game or song that just stops us from thinking about our troubles or detaches us from the real world can be all that we need. Getting lost varies between people and what they need at the time. Nonetheless, I know I have found a good story if it is able to take my focus and allows me to destress, relax and forget all the worries I might have at that moment. Although I may not get the vivid imagery, I’ll still be swept away from reality.
I mean, it can get dangerous. I can’t even begin to write how often I have been so lost in a story that time and space suddenly didn’t exist. I’ve spent a few too many minutes on break at work or had the whole day go by on the weekend without even realising it. I can’t say I regret it though!
But that’s the fantastic thing about it. If we’re reading a book, then there are symbols etched in paper that are making us feel this way. If it’s a movie or video game, then the colours on screen are pulling us into their world. If it’s a song, then we are sailing out on carefully created soundwaves away from reality. It’s magic, and you can either wield if yourself or experience it through whichever form suits you.
So, that is one of the many reasons why I love storytelling. Getting lost is magical. It pulls me in and makes me connect to so many things. No matter what is happening in my life, I know that I can open a book, put on a movie, play a video game or listen to a song, and get lost in it. Is it healthy? To me, yes. What do you think?
Do you enjoy getting lost in stories? Are there any stories you have got lost in that are particularly memorable? Let me know in the comments!
That’s it from me. Remember to ignite the story and I’ll see you again soon!
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.