Monday, August 18, 2014

Welcome to Writing Life

Welcome to the Writing Life. I have been blogging about myriad topics since 2004. Although this blog was initially a means to keep family and friends abreast of my progress when I was going through treatments for leukemia, it quickly became an extension of my private journal. Here I could publicly share my thoughts and write essays about revelations I had during my recovery period. That blog eventually evolved into more of a political one with personal musings and people profiles interspersed throughout—basically, a hodge-podge of all my interests.

When I examine the journal writing I have done over the past two decades, it is amazing the discoveries I’ve uncovered about myself and my world. My book, Rebirth, was the result of the journaling I did during my cancer treatment period from December 14, 2003 through December 31, 2004. It chronicles my life as a cancer patient and survivor, including my hospital admissions for chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. I published a second edition of that book in 2014.

Post-cancer, I developed Writing for Your Life, a journal writing workshop for cancer survivors. The New York City chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was kind enough to offer space at their location even though the workshop was designed for all cancer survivors, not only blood cancer ones. In addition, I talk about the value of expressive writing in my speeches at cancer and health-related conferences, so yes, I believe in the transformative and healing power of the written word; and there is research that supports this. Furthermore, as a performer, I believe all creative endeavors have power and value.

My musings here will span a variety of topics developed through the lens of how writing and other creative activity furthers personal and career goals, aids in maneuvering through transitional periods, overcoming adversity, uncovering and facing old wounds that need to be healed, and manifesting the life you envision. These tools, useful in the personal and career realms, can also help facilitate ideas and actions for change in your community and the world. My personal writings and observations, as well as those of others who embrace the power and art of writing, will be shared throughout these posts. Words help create ideas, ideas promote action, and action manifests change.

In the movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest’s mother tells him that: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” The future is unknown. Surprises—welcome or not —confront us each day, even each moment. Some people sail through life’s challenges and vicissitudes with more ease than others. Perhaps this is because they are naturally more laid-back and deal with adversity better. However, we can all survive and thrive by developing strategies that help us prepare to cope when life throws us curve balls.

My goal is to provide some strategies you will find helpful on this fabulous, sometimes frustrating and scary journey called life. I prefer to call it an adventure. As you follow me here, I hope you come to see it as an adventure too. If you already do, well, then let’s make it an even more fantastic one. Here’s to writing your life and a better world. Cheers!