Monday, March 12, 2012

The Story Knows Best II

Earlier today, I offered these thoughts in response to a writer's request for feedback on a memoir piece he had written. 

With his permission, I offer a slightly edited version here, as it is the foundation of everything I believe about writing and the creative process. 

It's a philosophy I express often on these pages and in the pages of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write: "The story (whatever it is) is smarter than I am. It always knows best."

"Here's my general guidance that, I trust, will speak to your specific questions. From what I know of you through your writing and from what I sense and intuit of you through your spirit, I'm certain that it will resonate with you...

"Your story (be it a few pages or a few hundred) is its own sentient entity and its own presence. As a memoir, it may appear on the surface to be about you, which perhaps gives you the illusion that you know what it is about. However, you are simply the raw material for a story that knows far more about what it is about than you ever will.

"From that place, I urge you to listen to the story that moves through you onto the page as closely as you have come to listen to your heart, to surrender to it as completely as you are learning to surrender to your heart, and to trust it as fully as you know you must trust your heart.

"As you are able to do those things, you will honor the heart that is singing to you and the heart of the story that is singing through it to you. And when you are done your two pages or two hundred, you will be amazed and astounded at what has been crafted through you and how you have been crafted because of it.

"I have every confidence that you can open yourself to that and every confidence, as well, that what will emerge will transform you (and others) in ways that you cannot not imagine."

Photos by Mark David Gerson: #1 Story, AK; #2 Christmas butterfly

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