The story is the thing

As I’m sure you’ve heard me say many times, storytelling is so important. I’ve learned this in particular this weekend when my youngest sister came to stay with me. We took her to watch Wendy and Peter Pan at the RSC and I began reading to her one of my favourite childhood books, The Magic Faraway Tree. She chose this book over one I bought her based on Frozen so I was particularly pleased!

Watching her eyes light up when the actors first took flight at the theatre was incredible. Hearing her tell me about her dream about being up in the Faraway Tree with a friend was delightful. How important these little experiences are, and how wonderful the imagination is once it gets going. In a way this motivates my writing hugely, as making a positive impact on someone’s life is something I’m extraordinarily keen to achieve. I myself having been an avid reader since childhood have had this experience many times. I am eternally grateful to many authors, complete strangers to myself but whose stories have comforted me, changed me and inspired me.

But this weekend I truly saw how poignant stories are to children. Stories can help them form ideas about the world and articulate emotions and connections, not to mention the fun and excitement to be had as well! Now, I’m not about to pack it all in and write children’s books from now on but I feel overwhelmingly privileged  that I was able to share this with her. I suppose these are the life experiences/realisations that ultimately inspire art.

Speaking of which I’m happy to report that writing is going well. I regularly desire to work on Wendy’s House, even if with so much going on lately I don’t ultimately find the time; often I am forced to scribble down a little here and a little there on the really busy days! Carving out more time will have to be my goal for this week. What I definitely wouldn’t want to do is lose momentum and end up back where I was, feeling quite separate from the story; I’d even go so far as to afraid of the project. I guess it’s back to that old chestnut again; discipline!

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