Although there are reindeer antlers in the photos, when I write ‘joy’ I don’t mean just the Christmas kind. I do think that people are more joyous over this holiday period, which is why I wanted to focus on it for this instalment. I don’t know about anyone else, but the feeling of joy when planning, concocting, creating and finishing a story is addictive. Well, it is for me. Yes, there are times when it’s painful. Yes, there are times we want to burn what we’re creating because we don’t think it’s good enough. I know, I’ve been there. But the joy is still there, deep within the stress, pressure and tears.
Then, there’s the joy we feel when we are experiencing a story. I love finding a great story. I’ll open a book, put on a movie or play a video game, and usually I know I’ve landed on something great in the first few moments. I feel immersed and I fall in love with the events that unfold. It could be the language, the plotline, or just how original the story is. I’ll find myself smiling and feeling all giddy like a kid on Christmas day. I’ll stay awake at night for a little longer because I want to keep experiencing it. It’s what feeds my passion to tell stories. It’s what makes me who I am!
However, I think one of my favourite things about storytelling is the joy I see when others experience it. I mean, how great is it to introduce a friend to some book, movie, TV show or song and seeing them light up with joy, interest or excitement because of it.
I remember vividly as a kid recommending a book series to one of my closest friends because I knew she loved reading as much as I did. I think it may have been the day after when she rushed up to me and told me how much she loved it. It was so exciting to experience the joy she was feeling and share it with one another. She might be reading this right now, so I hope you know who you are! Your joy encouraged my passion to continue sharing the love for storytelling!
Then, there’s seeing that joy in the eyes of someone who you know doesn’t have that passion in them. Maybe you know someone who isn’t interested in reading but by recommending that one book to them, you see that fire ignite within them. It could be someone who isn’t interested in drama TV shows but the one you mention to them could suddenly bring a new joy into their life.
I may focus a lot on the mediums of storytelling, such as books or films. However, the first kind of storytelling was verbal. Now, I don’t know about you but even telling someone about some weird moment on my drive to work and seeing them engage with it brightens my day. If it’s something funny, it could bring them joy. They might go and tell the story to their family or friends later that day. Suddenly, the joy becomes contagious.
Because it’s the end of the year and all the celebrations are happening, it’s a time when people begin to fill with joy. So, to share this side of my love for storytelling made sense to me.
On the other side, I know there are people out there who may not feel the same joy over this time and that’s okay. No one should feel under pressure to feel happy or joyous just because everyone says you should. Take the time to recognise your feelings. Be mindful in what is happening. Maybe try and write it down and create your own story for yourself to reflect on.
Ultimately, I love storytelling because it helps bring me joy, may it be through creating it, experiencing it or seeing others feel it too. If the skies are cloudy for me, it’s something I can turn to. Then, the sun will pour right back in and for that moment, I can find joy and bliss.
Is this something you love about storytelling as well? Let me know!
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.