As a psychologist writing fiction, I have found that the myth of Psyche is as vital for my work as the thrill I get from good science. (Yes, well written, well done science excites me. Go figure!) But I must say, the everyday search for ourselves, the quiet passion to seek what we have lost in the bustle of our everyday lives, the capacity and courage to endure life’s knocks and setbacks and not to be undone by them—these are what enthrall me about psychology. And they're the stuff of great fiction, what John Gardner called moral fiction. The search for self, the hunger for love, the recognition that growing into our humanness needs the fertilizer of loss and suffering, and requires the courage of persisting (and sometimes, enduring) in the search—these are what, to me, make for fine novels and a meaningful psychology. Perhaps "mind and behavior" (the content of today's standard definitions of psychology) are the infrastructure, or perhaps the manifestation, of that deeper something that can be illuminated by Psyche’s myth, something we used to call soul.
I'll admit it: Fine prose of all kinds - fiction, essays, non-fiction, scholarly work - absorbs me. The miracle of how human beings use their marvelous capacity for language to create a mind-to-mind transmission of insight fascinates me. While I'm a writer (nowadays) of fiction, my roots are in the soil of scholarly and academic writing. So on the Blog, I'll be talking about all kinds of writing, and what I'm learning about how to write.
Oh, that final tag, "Spirit"? Don't just think "spirituality" (although that's all right). Think too of "school spirit" and "team spirit." Think of "She's a spirited young thing!" Think: "That's the spirit!" And, sure, think about the soul. Which brings us back around to Psyche.
So, I hope you'll join the conversation on the Blog at Bill Percy Books. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and hearing what you've got to say.
The Blog at Bill Percy Books: Psyche, Writing, Spirit