The Times of Our Lives..Writing When Your Heart is in a Vise



Having just come off a three- week period where time stood still, the hustle- bustle of this holiday season has felt like an electric shock to my system. Some of that actually has been good as there is comfort in getting back to my usual routine: work, going to the fitness center, finishing Christmas shopping & cards, squeezing in a piano lesson plus I really want to get back to my writing.  The point is,no matter what life hands you, life truly does go on. I am experiencing the benefit of having some structure as I move on in my day to day life but how do I find the time?  I love this post about writing with no excuses from the  John Scalzi’s blog  Whatever , “Writing: Find the Time or Don’t”  Here’s another post from Susan DiMikele’s blog A Working Mother’s Daily Rant about” Saying no so you can say yes to writing”.   Where there is  a will, there is a way.

I was going to devote this post to my reentry into normalcy after the loss of my sweet  father on 11/27/10, on  how I am moving along in time..

But then a writer friend of mine,Lynne Spreen (check out her awesome blog Any Shiny Thing) suggested I blog about ” writing when your heart is in a vise”. Because life happens at its own pace regardless of how fair or unfair it may seem, I am now faced with another  heartache over which I have no control. I am also faced with the challenge of how to handle it in  a way that will be keep me moving forward through time. Prayer is always my first line of defense and I have issued an “all points bulletin” prayer request for my loved one and myself . The  prayers are flowing in and getting me through the moments of uncertainty.

Now all of this brings me to my writing mentors and friends, NAMW President and author, Linda Joy Myers,PhD and Writing coach and author, Sharon Lippincott who  devote a lot of their time and energies to the healing power of journaling and writing. Among many other things, Linda Joy has a wonderful book ,The  Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story  and Sharon is currently teaching a course called Writing for the Health of It. I have immersed myself,  like a sponge, soaking up in their teachings for the past thirteen months. It has always made sense but I didn’t realize until this moment of loss and personal crisis that the tools they have provided me are now guiding my path through the pain and heartache. Writing really does heal. I can feel it.

So in these times of my life, times we all will experience at one point or another, I am moving along and although “my heart is in a vise”, I am hopeful that the writing and the prayers, the structure and the discipline, the support and the friendships will keep me moving along the path of healing. The heartache is what it is. I have to let it happen. The writing to heal is what I can make happen. NO excuses.

Does writing heal the heartache for you?


  1. says

    Writing always has been, and I suspect always will be, my “port in a storm.” Angry letters never get sent (but oh, the joy in writing them!); disjointed thoughts come into clear focus, and loving messages lift others up and ease their pain. What a delight it is to be able to corral one’s thoughts, play “puppet-master” with one’s characters, create scenes that make others feel they’re there, and a host of other wonderful things, all through writing! Keep at it, Kathy; it will help you heal!

    • says

      Deb, you’ve summed it all up so beautifully. I love the idea of “playing puppet- master” That is a wonderful visual to hold on to! Thank you for the inspiration to keep writing and healing

  2. smita jagdale says

    Kathy, I have been checking your blog to find a new post as I know it so well that it would heal you. That’s the power of writing. Just like the beautiful lyrics come out of emotions, so does the writing. I would say, there is some relief from writing for some period, so the best way is to keep writing whenever one can.

    You and your family will always be in my prayers. You are the inspiration to me and so many other women. Keep on writing for the healing and getting new ‘joam'(energy).

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by,Smita! Your sweet words of support and your prayers are so soothing. Yes,the writing helps and so does all this wonderful support. Thank you for being here for me

  3. says

    Kathy–you connect so many different streams and inspirational quotes and blogs in this piece–you are amazing! Yes, it must be a shock to encounter the “real world” after being suspended with your father and family in other realms. And writing offers words, images, and connective tissue, in a way, to keep us on the path of sanity, or some version thereof. I think it’s healing to allow the words to flow without control, as the deepest truths are swept out of their hiding places that way. As always, you are eloquent and thought provoking.

    • says

      Oh Linda, thank you for your ongoing kindness and support. Do you know ,you are my gentle and wise guide on the path of healing? I am so grateful our paths have crossed. You truly make a difference! Blessings, Kathy

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