Many people are under the impression that with creating always comes joy. Wrong! Most of the time, the emotional journey of creating starts with agony. Agony at not getting it right, at not finishing on time, at not remembering every nuance of the story you want to convey, at bad first reviews.
Some people never get past this first agony. But if they do, then comes catharsis—the big, body-shaking, “Ahhhh” that comes when finally, finally the words on the page match the story in their hearts and, in some ways, help heal any wounds that story may have caused.
Then comes editing.
Then, ideally, comes publishing.
Somewhere in the middle of these stages, in fleeting moments, is joy. Joy that floods your chest with the warmth of a shot of tequila; that sends you shooting up from your chair, shaking, aching to share what you have created; that reminds you of why you’re doing this absurdly difficult, personal thing you’re doing. The joy hits hard when you’ve finished writing your story. But it hits irrevocably when that story impacts the lives of others.
And in the end, that’s what telling your story is all about. It’s the ineffable joy of connecting with someone you never would have met otherwise; of giving hope; of achieving understanding. Through all the self-doubt and hardship and late nights and inability to explain out loud what you’re doing or why—the joy of changing someone’s life for the better is why we tell our stories. Why we refuse to stop telling our stories.
If you need help telling yours, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time for us to talk.