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For the Joy of It

Broken rules and precious intimacies

By Skylar CallahanPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - January 2024
For the Joy of It
Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash

I remember my first time becoming enthralled by the mere words on a page: Times New Roman, in large font for my young eyes. Captured by the intricacy of words, how their thoughtful combination could reap a million and one different meanings, significances, connotations, and yet by their careful rendering were made to express just one. What a beautiful art.

Conversation bubbled about, along with the crunch of peanut butter crackers and apples. All of it fell to the background as if the world had grown immensely quiet except for me and the pages. For while my peers were taking their impatiently awaited school break, I had discovered something big: the artistry of words, the magic of a writer’s talent to transform letters into moving images with far more complexity than my own mind could deduce even from real life. These people on the pages – I knew them like I knew myself. What a precious intimacy.

Years of fervent book reading, scrambling to feed my mind with the next literary masterpiece, devouring each bold, intriguing, original world every new book presented followed my initial discovery.

As I racked up an extensive and varied list of reads in my repertoire, several patterns of storytelling emerged to me, the way the golden ratio permeates nature in an unexplained beauty of interconnectedness. Storytelling has a way of revealing the truths of humanity, truths that span continents and generations, with a relatedness that cannot help but make you look to a stranger and find familiarity there. As the patterns of storytelling and the laws of literature revealed themselves to me, inherently so did their exceptions. They scratched an itch in my brain that had been previously unknown to me. Every broken rule was an invention of genius.

As the years aged my priorities and responsibilities, reading fell to the sidelines of my life, before disappearing completely. I found a new joy in shows and movies after a long day, but it was an empty, mindless one. Not something to feed the mind, but something to distract it. For several years my body held an emptiness where that passion and hunger used to reside.

I began writing on Vocal in 2020, the first year of Covid, when backburner hobbies were brought to the forefront for many. I did it to try to nurse that flame in my heart for reading and writing, but for the sake of candor, I did it mainly because I was low on cash and the challenges seemed an exciting chance to try my hand at making some money from the comfort of my own home. The storytelling site turned out not to be fruitful for my wallet, but it was for my passion. Something reawakened in me, a fire rekindled that I was determined to not let falter again.

It began as a selfish pursuit. I didn’t have the desire to read others’ work, I just wanted to release the creativity I had squandered for so long. But creativity starves if you don’t feed it. My work fell flat. It became monotonous, overworked, tired.

So, I began reading my Vocal peers’ work. I found myself intrigued by the imagination and originality in each of their pieces. I was wowed by the different interpretations of the Vocal challenges that I would have never in a million years thought of. The different lives lived brought fresh and exciting perspectives to writing, and each unique nuance and style once again scratched that itch in my head.

It has taken me far too long, but I have recently made the time to branch out from reading on Vocal to reading novels again, and I have been rediscovering their allure and my love for them. My current venture is a seven-hundred and ninety-four page sci-fi epic – when it comes to me and books, the bigger the better. I hunger once again for knowledge and art, and I aim to never squander that ache again.

My aspiration for this coming year is not to write more, but to craft scenes that invoke all the wonder of a child and all the wisdom of a life fully lived. I want to break the rules. I want to discover more of humanity’s truths through the writing of others. I want to lose myself in more stories purely for the joy of it.

Here’s to 2024 – to living for the joy of it.


About the Creator

Skylar Callahan

Hoping I can bring a little joy, fun, and escape to my readers. The genres of my writing are vast, as I am still getting to know myself as a writer. Thank you for your support! Happy reading!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (8)

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  • Anna 2 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Ken_kudu19 days ago

    Love this

  • Ken_kudu19 days ago

    let's engage with each other's content

  • RL Stevenson22 days ago

    Congratulations on TS commendations!! I really felt your innate passion and desire to write. Your sentiments echoed exactly how I felt before joining Vocal, and when I did, I had tunnel vision and couldn't see post my own expressions either. 2024 brings exceptional change. Unblocking on my heart and throat chakras has slowed me to be more receptive to others' voices, and to honor my own with full and unapologetic expression. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Andrea Corwin 22 days ago

    Fabulous piece, so well thought out and voiced here! Bravo! I love the creativity and imaginative stories of the creators and agree with your perception. Congrats!!

  • I Jessica 22 days ago

    Skylar, your story inspired me truly. thank you for sharing.

  • Rachel Deeming22 days ago

    Skylar, I'm so glad you've discovered your joy of reading again. I think there is no better stimulus for your own writing than other people's. Except maybe the world around you. Here's to 2024! The year of the pen.

  • Ava Mack29 days ago

    I love this piece and reflection, Skylar! "I want to break the rules." Yes!

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