What can literature teach us about living a better life?
Literature—any art for that matter—is about exploring the challenges of the human condition, the things that make us uniquely human.
And so is psychotherapy, especially techniques such as acceptance and commitment therapy. There’s a lot of talk about metaphors, storytelling and inner voices. Among other things.
And it’s surprising how much of the advice therapists give can be applied to writing.
Here, I explore the similarities between fiction and therapy, and give some writing advice, based on therpautic concepts. Many were first published in my monthly column on WriterUnboxed.
I’ve also included more than 100 examples from literature, films, writing guides, TV and the web that illustrate these similarities.
- Sometimes you need to pause
- Henry James and ‘the sin of self-esteem’
- Dealing with your own prejudice
My name is Jim Dempsey, and I’m a fiction editor with Novel Gazing and a professional member of the Society of Editors and Proofreaders.
If you’re interested in my editing services, please visit the Novel Gazing website, or send the first 1500 words of your novel for a free sample edit: