You may know by now that to treat an abstract concept as real, or to turn an abstraction into reality, is to reify it.

An idea, written down in a book, has been reified. Now it is an object that can be passed from hand to hand, examined at length.

But reification is also an approach to writing a book, a way to bring a concept to life.

Take a painful situation you’ve experienced. Give the pain a name, and let it talk. It’s what the Greeks meant by a daemon. (Not a demon, that’s different.) Let the daemon tell a story, from its own unique point of view (it’s really yours, but no one has to know).

But the pain sees you at a distance, allows you to disconnect. The feelings are all contained in the daemon, and so you can’t write about them without feeling them all over again.

Feel the punch?

Reify it.

Write your story. Include the good times and the bad. The story may feel same-old, same-old. But it’s never been told from your perspective. Certainly it has never been told from the point of view of your personal daemon.

No one does it like you.