I’ll tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a witch who wasn’t sure magic was real. She wanted it to be, for what would a witch do in a world without magic? So off she set to seek it.
First, she chased the sweaty kind that could turn a word-nerd suburban chick into a swan. Then, because ballet left out language, she turned to directing plays, taking what she’d learned about bodies and gesture and hard work with her. She went on like this, tracking and collecting, from theater to academia, from advertising to entrepreneurship, picking up clues along the way. She learned about flow as a way of explaining how magic felt and the conditions under which it was most likely to arrive. She learned life hacks that seemed like rituals or spells. But were they? Human psychology is indeed a mystery. But is it magic?
And then one day she came under a heavy curse — or at least it felt that way — and only changing that story saved her life. After that, she went after its power directly. She began to study and practice making stories. She learned that social scientists, advertising execs, and anthropologist agree: stories have power. They’re how we make sense of the world and each other. They carry information over generations and define our reality and possibilities. Stories can transform pain into meaning and worth into shame, and every advancement in art or engineering, athletics or technology is fueled by one – of god’s purpose or a rival’s perfidy — that drive creation and discovery, mastery and invention. Magic is real, and it’s a story.
In a world where magic is story, what does a witch do?
I write novels and shorter fiction. I build and collect apps and books that help writing happen. I make dogma-free prayer candles and altered icons, and I teach, lead workshops and give talks. I read and annotate my reading. I blog. I celebrate the magic of my friends and fellow writers. I do what witches always have– craft and cast, make and share — because magic is difficult and when we don’t help each other we burn, or burn out anyway.