This newsletter, about the power, craft, and people of storytelling, is crowdsourced from our 260+ book club members.
If you find or create an article, quote, passage, or anything else worth sharing with other storytellers, send me an email, and I will archive your submission for future use.
Let’s get to it! :)
“Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle.”
—Robert Olen Butler
"Before operating on a patient's brain, I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living; and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another's cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight."
Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but ... life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.
—Gabriel García Márquez
Picture this: you're sitting in a hospital bed with a huge mirror hanging directly above you as you simultaneously give birth and perform your own brain surgery (no pressure).
Afterward, you sew yourself up, get yourself some medicine, and take a look at your baby, but, to your surprise, it's your face looking back up at you.
This is what it's like to keep a journal.
At the book club meeting last night, we got to talking about the practice and power of journaling. What's the best way to do it? What do you get out of it? What are the best tools, tips, and tricks?
There is no right way to do it. For a while, I did morning pages. Scott writes, in a plain, blank notebook, a couple of paragraphs about whatever is on his mind that day. Instead of writing or typing into his phone, Tomás goes for a walk and records himself talking (we decided otter.ai would be a good tool for transcribing his entries and storing them for later use).
Journaling is telling yourself a story about yourself, yearning for understanding, acceptance, and peace, and overcoming confusion, denial, and conflict.
Journaling is trying to understand your own identity, values, and worth, before slicing your brain wide open.
Journaling is your own head crowning as you thrash against the womb that keeps you safe and warm.
Journaling is the medicine that keeps you going, keeps you slicing, keeps you pushing, despite how painful and scary it is.
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