Around the globe, national calendars note Share-a-Story Month to spark a renewed interest in reading among students. As we approach its official start in May, our family at Steven James wishes to kick it off by continuing to share stories from our personal perspectives. In pulling back the curtain, giving you a peek behind-the-scenes, we attempt to show the process of our craft turned inward.
We pride ourselves at being storytellers. But while telling a story is one thing, truly sharing a story, connecting with others and moving them to really feel what you’re feeling, is something else entirely. It’s art, it’s magic, it’s beautifully human. And each story we help to shape begins with a promise to strip away the noise, find the authentic voice, magnify its power, and preserve the integrity of the message.
As a storyteller, I love what I do. I elate in seeing a member of our client-family raise a mirror, and while peering into it, not quite recognize the face staring back, but in the course of our work that mirror is wiped clean, and the reflection made pixel-perfect. It’s the very essence of humanity’s artful magic.
At the same time, sharing one’s most sacred possession, their story, is something that can still terrify me, personally.
You see, the very thing I ask others to do every day can induce a paralyzing fear. As someone who has long suffered with often-debilitating social anxiety, communicating with others has been a distinct challenge. I try to hide it, mask it with humor, spend what little social-currency I can muster each day sparingly.
But sharing and telling stories with my family at Steven James has been cathartic, even healing. In helping others find their voice, I’ve realized that stories help us regain our power, and that using stories to connect with others creates a unifying experience, one in which trust, perhaps even peace can be achieved.
As a storyteller, what I do each day for others is a privilege. And in the coming weeks as other members of the SJ Family share their perspective, we will show that our craft is really about elevating a voice, the voice of a person, of a company, or even a movement. Sometimes that voice crackles in fear, other times it speaks boldly with vociferous force, but no matter its presentation, when we listen deeply, when we truly share in stories together, we learn things about ourselves and others we never knew possible.
We might even find strength in the things that were once our weakness.