Stories have formed us all

I was reminded of Carolyn Heilbrun yesterday when someone mentioned writers who committed suicide.

What matters is that lives do not serve as models; only stories do that. And it is a hard thing to make up stories to live by. We can only retell and live by the stories we have read or heard. We live our lives through texts. They may be read, or chanted, or experienced electronically, or come to us, like the murmurings of our mothers, telling us what the conventions demand. Whatever their form or medium, these stories have formed us all; they are what we must use to make new fictions, new narratives.

—Carolyn Heilbrun
Writing a Woman’s Life (1988, p.37)