In the current book market, nonfiction and self-help writings certainly manifest more attention than fiction. There are more nonfiction books published; more agents for nonfiction writing; more profit. One can self-publish; start lecturing in seminars; go onto radio shows and on stage and give speeches, dispersing advice to the masses.
It is touted as easier to get going in the nonfiction arena, and I assure you that with each rejection by agents/publishers, I had been sorely tempted to take a few more courses to alter my degree from a BA in Sociology to a BA in psychology and write a book on let’s say, True Love.
A valued friend suggested I write self-help books, because from her perspective, she feels I need to enlarge the arena of those I help, having been on the receiving end of the wisdom I have shared with her over the years. Because my friend is quite prominent in the field of psychology, earning tens of thousands of dollars for each one of her lectures in her field, I was, of course, flattered. I took it so much to heart, I began journaling for an insight and answer.
However, my Psyche, my very cantankerous Psyche, apparently not at all interested in revenue, chose storytelling. One morning I awoke, with a complicated and important dream in my possession. I wrote it down immediately, capturing the life adventure of Angelica Grastende, a woman of Rom. It was thus that Destiny’s Consent was birthed.
I take solace for the small amount of coins in my pocketbook from a few sources: Alice Walker, Clarissa Estes Pinkola and Joseph Campbell and the Twelve Steps. Not too shabby of company, I might add.
Alice Walker stated this beautifully in an interview about her work:
“Storytelling, you know, has a real function. The process of the storytelling is itself a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning to them. They’re taking the time to do this because your life could use some help, but they don’t want to come over and just give advice. They want to give it to you in a form that becomes inseparable from your whole self. That’s what stories do. Stories differ from advice in that, once you get them, they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you.”
In Women Who Run with the Wolves, the brilliant cantadora, Clarissa Estes Pinkola, relates stories women have shared with one another through the ages to assist in life’s transitions. I know that story has the ability to penetrate into the reader’s heart and soul, in the solitude and the quiet, dislodging deep injuries and the resulting toxins, to be a balm—and to heal calmly on a profound level.
Joseph Campbell refers to stories as a deep well-spring of enduring truths that run through the human psyche and resonate within the core that runs thru the human psyche.
Twelve Step groups act in the same way: they share their stories, their mythologies with one another, with the directive, “take what you need, and leave the rest”. There is no attempt to tell the other person what to do, but just relate our experiences. If the other person wishes more information, they can speak with the person after their meeting. From my experience, for the addict psychology, but for the young as well as any strong minded individual, advice given will not be heard, or if heard, will be rebelliously discarded.
Since, I myself, became so lost, so misguided in my own life, by society’s directives, I am choosing to pass on what I have learned. The Buddhist say, “you don’t get to keep what you don’t give away.”
Destiny’s Consent is my ‘give away’.