When people create “stories” in response to
“prompts” there is joy in the use of the imagination—as
well as writing’s release and relief. Creativity enhances the
life force. The stories we tell make a difference.
When you write from a “prompt” you create a “story,” which means you are creating “fiction” and not consciously writing about yourself. In this way, the imagination is free to dip into the unconscious and write about something not fully known to you. Then, because it is the prompt’s story and not yours, you are more able to identify that the dried rose or sea glass is feeling what you feel too; you just hadn’t known it until you heard it. This technique sometimes allows pushed-down or stuck material to emerge as “story,” but usually only at a rate that is comfortable. Or, it might be just a storyabout a piece of sea glass.
If I give you a sheet of paper and at the top it says, “Write How You Are Feeling” you might scan your body and say “tired” or remember you are angry at the person who cut you off in traffic today.
If I were to give you an autumn leaf and ask you to give the leaf a name and write about the leaf, you might say that it is full of brilliant colors or you might say that it is curled andfurled at the edges and you are on your way to rolling yourself up.
No one else can tell you what your stories are. You alone know.
Sharing of our writing, we help each other heal.
Sometimes when someone is sharing a story, you realize that what they wrote is true for you, too. You just hadn’t known it.
(This post is an excerpt from the book, Writing and Healing.)