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The Joyful Servant of Story


I believe that story has a voice of its own, and this voice, coming as it does from some deeper place of life, speaks with a truth that is healing. When writers allow story to be itself, without the imposition of their own ego, then (give or take the writer's skill) story's truth can pass through and its medicine can be freely used.

Sometimes it's even important not to think about the preferences of our audience, but to abide by how our creativity guides us, and allow story to speak even if the result is unpopular, unprofitable, or gets no response. Otherwise, I fear we are betraying the sacred gift of creativity. Of course, some artists want or need to make money from their creating, and there's nothing wrong with calculating market responses in that case. However, I personally experience a difference - not a superiority either way, only a difference - between writing for a temporal purpose and writing because story has come begging to your heart.

(Of course, too, some writers have things they want to say, or a perspective they want to share, which is a completely valid reason for writing.)

For those who choose service to story, the reward lies in the service itself. That's a strange idea in this modern culture where everyone is encouraged to want dominion and personal profit, and told that, if they serve (for example, through motherhood) they will lose themselves. But the secret truth is as everyone who has willingly served already knows: there is a great joy in it. I serve story. That's what I want to do.

illustration by Helen Stratton


  1. And you serve story with a unique beauty all of its own. My soul and heart agrees, and I smile at your words of comfort, they are like a warm knitted blanket I can tuck myself away in, and come out with renewed energy to learn more about my own creativity. Thank you again Sarah.

  2. i think maybe service is unfashionable just now... but no less necessary or compelling because of that?

    your muse brings forth such beauty. and a voice in a wilderness will still find its echoing voices, although not as numerous as mirroring surfaces in a city. perhaps truer, though...

  3. You serve story powerfully and with much beauty. You knit words into vision.
    I can see you. ♥

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