A friend once said to me, “writing is the crowbar of the mind.” It is also – for me – the connective tissue between head and heart. I go to an energy medicine practitioner from time to time for help with the flow of my energy (think acupuncture chi without the needles) and she has told me that I often have a disconnect between my head and my heart – not exactly an encouraging reality. Still, writing is one of the ways I find my way back to the connection I crave. Through the writing process I find my way into the practice of integrity. By that I mean that writing helps me integrate myself, helps me connect my ideas, experiences and feelings in a way that is eventually, noticeably me.
Story is the kind of writing I am talking about. I am a fiction writer and I have a sacred belief that storytelling is what makes us whole. As humans we have an enormous need to hear and tell stories. They are the way we make sense of this life. Telling stories, holding others’ as our own, joins our heads to our hearts in a way that mere thinking or talking can not.
The work of making life out of words, of creating worlds with pieces of my own emotions and experiences, this is the writing life that keeps me connected to myself and the world around me and it is the work that helps me avoid getting lost in the pain of life. It is the art of story. That glorious marriage of life and imagination. And the best part is that when the story is written from inside the deepest part of myself, it has the potential to connect the head and heart the reader as well.
Stacy Barton’s Website