As writers we start the journey as any adventurer. We prepare by packing our creative backpack – a nice hot cuppa next to keyboard, a few pieces of chocolate for emergencies and our favourite writing spot to help us drop into the zone. Then, we begin. Through our stories we reveal the most noble and enduring facets of our protagonists and in a way we are revealing a glimpse into who we really are as people. Story is more than writing fantastical threads, its a way of weaving into a greater mythology of what it is to be human.
Yes, the White Rabbit sometimes emerges from the dark hole with a philosophical carrot to hold up and tempt you to ask, what insight and wisdom do I gain about myself from my writing? So I am speaking to the writer who is you, and not to the audience that you write for. What can we learn about ourselves through the stories that we write?
Story is a gift that not only is a wonderful world to get lost in but can have a strong impact on our inner development. So here is a challenge to gain some insight into who you are as a writer. Spend some time reflecting and journalling on your heroes and your villains, what aspects of yourself do you see in each of them? What hidden motivations and expectations unfolded through the process of the story? If you reflect upon these patterns in terms of what goes on in your life, what does this reveal to you about how you relate in your world?
Without story, life becomes a book cover with no pages – beautiful on the surface but not very fulfilling. Take the time to really look at your stories and discover what sustains you, what is meaningful to you and what you have endured in your life to become who you are today.
Somewhere in the storytelling is an essence of the real you and here is a opportunity to find a deeper understanding in what you write.
WARNING possible side effect: this exercise may get the ball rolling for some of you who are stuck in your writing. Gaining a new perspective by turning inward can infuse that muse, releasing your creative energy!