WRITING TIP: Don’t keep your stories to yourself.

WRITING TIP: Don't keep your stories to yourself.

Judgments about people based on superficial characteristics seem to be everywhere. But what’s missing? Personal stories. “The gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes, but we don’t see, we can’t see, the stories,” writes Neil Gaiman in his introduction to All these Wonders. ”And once we hear each other’s stories we realize that the things we see as dividing us are, all too often, illusions, falsehoods: that the walls between us are in truth no thicker than scenery.” So help us break the illusions by writing your stories, sharing them, and asking others to share theirs — especially those who seem different than you. Do it well and sincerely, and you won’t need to worry that it is self-indulgent, as so many fear, but rather a needed contribution to help us all remember our shared humanity.