“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
I was watching a new show called Common Law last night, and this quote appeared on the screen. It’s another example of how inspiration and insight can be found anywhere. You just have to be open to it.
This quote immediately struck me, as something true always does. I’m fascinated by the human heart and mind, and why we behave in certain ways. My writing hinges on my study of mankind: not in an outwardly Freudian lesson way, but more in a “look what happened because we behaved so atrociously” Romeo & Juliet kind of way. Take a good look at Shakespeare if you want examples of fine writing. Shakespeare writes the truth about people, not by lecturing but by showing.
People say they’re struck by my stories in a deep way, and that’s because I’m telling the truth. I’m illustrating a piece of our commonality, how we’re struggling to come to terms with some question we all have inside. My plot is just one turn down countless roads I could’ve taken. I have to laugh when people struggle with plot, because if you’re telling the truth, the plot is incidental. The plot is a given. (I laugh not at the floundering writer, but in sympathy, because I did that very thing when I was attempting to write Saved by the Music – before my subconscious showed me how to let go of my worries.)
I’m not going to write a long essay analyzing what this Jung quote means to me and how it inspires my writing, because that’s not the point. The point is: What does it do for you? If it makes you take pause and think about people, it may be fodder for a story you’ll start sometime (when is also incidental.)
If the quote does nothing for you, that’s fine. Prepare yourself for that thing that does inspire you. Be willing to embrace it when it comes.