Writing Non-Fiction posted June 22, 2014

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by dejohnsrld (Debbie)

Four years ago, I stumbled into therapeutic writing. I joined a writing class for those with disabilities, and enjoyed it immensely. When I look back at that work, I note that my writing was at a beginner’s level, but even so, it served a therapeutic purpose. It is not how well you write, but rather that you explore life through the written word that makes it therapeutic.
I have had depression for twenty-five years. In 2004, I was involved in a serious accident which resulted in permanent disability. The notebook and pen have helped rebuild a meaningful life and led to joy and success I had never imagined. A powerful therapeutic tool, writing allows a look at the past, evaluation of the present, and dreams of the future.
Prior to discovering writing’s therapeutic value, the last writing course I had taken was Basic Composition in college twenty-five years ago. I had not written since college, and had never studied poetry, but as I began to read that of others, I fell in love with it.
When I started writing, my friends quickly tired of me asking them to read my work. I found an online writing community where I not only learned much about writing, but have also found support and friendship with writers across the country and around the world.
I have taken a few online poetry classes and belong to a weekly writing group. In the past year, I have had several poems published in literary journals. Some of those published are about disability while others are not. Recently, I have developed a particular interest in Japanese poetic forms.
Writing is a wonderful way to explore self, and to communicate and learn from others. Writing also shows that I am still here, and my thoughts do matter. Writing, like any art, is a challenge and there is always more to learn.
My first book, ‘The Disability Experience,’ (2011) includes work from the first two years after I discovered therapeutic writing, and has both poetry and short non-fiction works about disability.
 ‘The Disability Experience II’ focuses mostly on the first three years after surviving the accident, a period of time I call ‘The Aftermath’. This was a time of profound change in lifestyle as I worked through the stages of grief to slowly reach some degree of acceptance. Nearly every aspect of my life was impacted by physical disability.  Learning to cope was a difficult and not always graceful process.
Writing has helped me continue to work through these issues as well as others in my life. I write primarily poetry, so have also included a selection of poems I’ve written since my first book.
My three goals for this book are:
1) To let others with disabilities know they are not alone.
2) To give the non-disabled a chance to see into our world.
3) To show the therapeutic value of writing in dealing with illness.

I also have a webpage/blog of writings on disability at www.thedisabilityexperience.vpweb.com.
Writing has become an integral part of life for me, much like eating and sleeping. I hope you find this book both beneficial and, despite some sad moments, enjoyable to read.
The floral artwork is to emphasize the beauty of the world and our ability to adapt and grow with the challenges life offers.


To My Friends,
Much of my story is sad,
but it has brought me to
where I am today. I have no regrets.

I feel truly blessed to have
found the writing community
with its wonderful and
supportive members and
for you, I will be forever grateful.


I finally finished my second book. It is in both paperback and Ebook form. The Ebook can be downloaded free June 28 - July 2, 2014.

Thanks to Angelheart for the artwork.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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