Arrow icon
Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
Learn more about Joggo

A Summary of

Writing a Novel Through Illness: On the Inseparability of Body and Mind

Cai Emmons
Literary Hub
View original

In the winter of 2021, Cai Emmons completed a new novel within days of receiving a diagnosis of an untreatable terminal illness (ALS). The new novel is impossible to categorize, and she was sure it was unpublishable. The novel can only be read as a metaphorical chronicle of her developing illness.

The link between the mind and the body

  • We know the mind can exert influence over the body. Research shows that athletes can improve performance by visualizing what they will do in advance.
  • The mind’s power over the body also aids healing.
  • We are unable to think clearly if we’re under-rested, famished, or in pain.
  • Cai’s work was affected by her physical aches and pains.
  • The function of mind and body are integral to one another and thus cannot be separated.
  • The human gut biome has been found to impact our overall health and well-being and as such it has been dubbed “the second brain.”
  • The gut has an enteric nervous system and the largest supply of serotonin in the entire body. 90% of the transmissions travel from gut to brain; only 10% travel from the brain to gut.
  • Most fiction writers don’t go seeking ideas actively; ideas seem to descend on them, challenging them to bring them to light. The sense of an idea originates beyond cerebral control, not external but deeply internal in our gut.
Related content
See all posts
Arrow icon