Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Because of A Book with Lynn Goodwin

For the next few weeks, I will be featuring some WOW! Women on Writing authors.  I am so excited that they are participating in Because of A Book.  Please make them feel welcome.

This week's author is Lynn Goodwin.  Here's a little about Lynn:

During the six years she spent caring for her mother, B. Lynn Goodwin found comfort in the journaling she did. She eventually began teaching journaling workshops and writing a book to guide other caregivers through journaling. You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers offers encouragement, instructions, and over 200 sentence starts to help anyone start putting their thoughts on paper.

It is for current, former, and long distance caregivers. These are the people who take care of spouses, parents, children, special needs children and themselves. It is also for professional caregivers including nurses, social workers, teachers, and anyone in the helping professions.

Lynn is also a teacher , editor, and writer. Her work has been published in Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career, Caregiving, and Self-Care NCDA Monograph; 24/7—a caregiving anthology; We Care; Families of Loved Ones Magazine (forthcoming); Kaleidoscope (forthcoming) and numerous e-zines and blogs. She also publishes Writer Advice at http://www.writeradvice.com/

WOW-Women on Writing is doing a Month of Journaling on Twitter. Every other day we tweet one of Lynn's writing prompts to followers so they can dip their toe into journaling. On Dec. 17 the month will be wrapping up on http://www.authorexposure.com/ where everyone can share how their journaling experiment went.

Because Writing Empowers People

As I drove my mother to her medical appointments, stopped at the pharmacy, microwaved Lean Cuisine, answered questions, wrote checks for her to sign, and helped her get dressed, I planned the memoir I would write someday. I was going to show the toll her aging took on both of us.

After she was gone, I came up with several solid scenes, but I grew uncomfortable as I workshopped them. My mother was a private person. Sharing her story felt like a betrayal.

After reading my piece, workshop participants often slid into their own stories of caring for a parent or spouse, and then lapsed into tales of caring for their special needs child, their tough-as-nails teen, or the 38 students in their seventh grade class. My stories seemed to open up theirs.

About 36 hours after I talked with a writing partner who was planning a collection of prompts for writers, I heard the words “Journaling for Caregivers” from a voice just outside my head. There was no one in the room but me, and the source of that voice remains a mystery. As soon as I heard those words, though, a plan clicked into place.

I needed to write a book that would empower caregivers to explore their stories. Journaling does that. It helps you vent, process, analyze, discover and find hope. It gives perspective and restores sanity. Writing is therapeutic, and research shows it saves lives.

All anyone needed was encouragement, instructions, and a way to avoid the blank page, so I wrote You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers. It explains the healing powers of writing, gives simple instructions, and offers over 200 sentence starts to help anyone begin the process.

Those who have tried journaling love it. Sharon Bray, the author of When Words Heal: Writing Your Way Through Cancer said, "As someone steeped in the therapeutic value of writing during pain and loss, I think B. Lynn Goodwin's book meets a need that has yet to be addressed."

Want to try the process? How would you respond if the sentence start is “Today I want…”? Finish the sentence and keep going. Dig in. Let one idea lead to the next, and see where the writing takes you.

If you want to post what you’ve written, I’m happy to write back and tell you what stays with me.

Because of this book, I am able to honor my mother in a way no memoir could. I hope You Want Me to Do WHAT? helps you tell your story.

Lynn, thank you for stopping by today and sharing your book.  What a sweet way to honor your mom!

About You Want Me to Do What?: 
Over fifty million caregivers spend every spare minute driving to medical appointments, stopping at the pharmacy, cooking, answering questions, paying bills, and helping with matters that used to be private. They feel trapped in an endless loop and need to release the stress of caregiving. B. Lynn Goodwins new book, You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers allows users to process their stress and celebrate what is right. It gives readers open-ended instructions on spilling their guts in the safety of a private journal and offers two hundred sentence starts to help them begin writing. Caring for oneself is as essential as breathing, but caregivers lose sight of that fact. Think of the flight attendant who says, Put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. Journaling is a caregivers oxygen mask, which You Want Me to Do What? provides.

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at Indiebound

1 comment:

Lynn said...

I am delighted to be here today, and I look forward to responding to your regular readers.

B. Lynn Goodwin
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

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