I was invited to join this blog tour by Wendy Karasin, a writer, life coach and blogger (Wendy Karasin – Musings of a Boomer). I am to answer four questions about my writing process and introduce you to three new bloggers, who will do the same next week and on it goes.
1) What am I working on?
I am working on finishing a memoir about healing and forgiveness in the wake of childhood sexual abuse. I am also a regular contributor to an online fitness and wellness column called Fitness Insider for DNAinfo. In addition to covering assorted topics in that column, I am also in the midst of an ongoing year-long series for DNAinfo called 12 Healthy Habits for 2014.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My memoir is different from other sexual abuse survivor stories in two distinct ways. First, within the context of the larger story of healing, there is also a love story: how I found, then lost, then rediscovered my soul mate and future husband – the man who would be the source of fervent hopes, debilitating disappointment, and who would ultimately become a key part of my healing process. Secondly, my memories of being sexually abused by my father were completely repressed until my early twenties, when I started having flashbacks. Disassociative amnesia, the psychiatric term for this kind of memory repression, is a controversial concept because there have been cases of patients claiming to have recovered memories of abuse which were later proven to be false. This has led to questions about whether such “memories” can be “implanted” by a therapist or erroneously fabricated in some other way. In my case, however, the previously repressed memories were proven to be true when my father admitted, years later to having sexually abused me. His admission, the confrontations that elicited it, as well as the aftermath – played out not only in my own life but also in court, in the media and in my family – are all part of this story.
My fitness writing is unique in that it is tinged with the lessons I’ve learned along my own healing journey, and therefore leans heavily toward mind-body, holistic health topics.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because it is what I know, what I love, and what has made me who I am. As I emerge from my fitness cocoon and begin to spread my wings as a writer, I know at the soul level that telling the story of my healing from sexual abuse and re-connecting with the love of my life must precede the telling of any other stories that may be inside me waiting to come out. My hope is that everything I choose to write, whether memoir, fitness related or other, will inspire and help readers to move forward along their own healing paths.
4) How does your writing process work?
I write almost every day, in the same way that I perform other self-care rituals like exercising or flossing my teeth. I have come to a point in my life where writing feels to me like something I really don’t have a choice about. If I want to be healthy, happy and whole, I must write. Having thus been freed from the burden of the question of whether to write, I am now happily exploring how I do my best writing. What I’ve found so far, is that energy work plays an important role in my writing process. Before I sit down to write, it’s helpful if I first balance my energies through a combination of energy exercises, physical exercise, meditation and journaling. Conversely, I also find that the process of writing is often what I need to balance my energy systems. After a good writing session it’s necessary for me to move, breathe and somehow celebrate the burst of self-expression that has helped free my soul.
Next stops on the blog tour are:
Sarah Klein http://sarahkleinwrites.com
Although I haven’t met Sarah in person, I enjoy her writing and was thrilled to learn that we share dual passions for writing and fitness. Sarah Klein is a Manhattan-based writer and editor, currently at The Huffington Post and previously of Health.com. She is a graduate of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Her work has been published on and in CNN, The Brooklyn Downtown Star, Sports Illustrated Kids, The Villager and more. She loves vegetables, running, feminism, corny jokes, and serial commas. Sarah is currently studying to become a certified personal trainer.
Elizabeth and I met several years ago after we both attended an Omega NYC conference and reached out online to find like-minded attendees of that event. We met in person at a diner on Long Island shortly thereafter and have been cohorts, colleagues and co-conspirators ever since.
Elizabeth says: I rediscovered my artistic side over three years ago. I am here to say that when you start to get back to your art, it doesn’t come right back. It is a little annoyed with you for shutting it out for so long. But then a remarkable thing happened. I just told myself to create whatever I wanted to create – no restrictions. And little by little my inner artist decided to make another appearance and we have been living happily in the same body since that day.
Elizabeth is an award winning blogger for Skirt! (2007-2014), and her writings have been published in Here Women Talk, More, Huffington Post and Gal Time. She is a humorist and a certified Creativity Coach for Artists and Writers. She is also one-half of The Film Fatales – a movie reviewing duo that always has something to say about today’s movies. Says Elizabeth: “We seemed to be loved by the British people since we are featured in Loves a Happy Ending and Smitten by Britain.” She is currently showing her work in art shows and galleries around Long Island.
Lara Licharowicz www.thelaratouch.com
Lara and I met about five years ago through our mutual Eden Energy Medicine teacher, Margie Fein, who knew Lara and I would become fast friends based on our shared interests in melding fitness with energy work. Lara is an expert in physical fitness and emotional freedom techniques. Over the past 15 years, she has created The Lara Touch, by fusing her study of physiology, kinesiology, strength training, and eastern energy healing, Lara’s systematic approach yields immediate, measurable and guaranteed results. In The Lara Touch classes, videos and private sessions, Lara has helped clients lose weight, reduce pain and stress, and improve energy levels. She has also helped athletes perform better and insomniacs sleep better. Prior to opening The Lara Touch studio in Manhattan, Lara was a Master Trainer for Sports Club L.A.. She holds certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council of Exercise, Muscle Activation Techniques, and Mat Pilates, and she is an Advanced Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner. She has been featured in the Daily News, Elle, and Women’s Day Magazines as well as an appearance in CW11’s Morning show.