Writing for Bliss is most fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both the seasoned and novice writer, it will lead you to tap into your creativity through storytelling and poetry, examine how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and, understand how published writers have been transformed by writing.
Poet and memoirist Raab (Lust) credits her lifelong love of writing and its therapeutic effects with inspiring her to write this thoughtful and detailed primer that targets pretty much anyone interested in writing a memoir. Most compelling here is Raab’s willingness to share her intimate stories (e.g., the loss of a relative, ongoing struggles with cancer, a difficult relationship with her mother). Her revelations are encouraging to writers who feel they need “permission to take… a voyage of self-discovery.” The book’s seven-step plan includes plenty of guidance, including on learning to “read like a writer,” and on addressing readers as if “seated across the table .” Raab covers big topics such as the “art and power of storytelling” and small details such as choosing pens and notebooks that you enjoy using. She also helps readers with the important step of “finding your form.”
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From Loving Healing Press: “Writing for Bliss is about the profound ways in which we may be transformed in and through the act of writing. I am grateful to Diana Raab for sharing it, and I trust that you will feel the same as you read on. May you savour the journey.”
–from the foreword by MARK FREEMAN, PhD
“By listening to ourselves and being aware of what we are saying and feeling, the true story of our life’s past experience is revealed. Diana Raab’s book gives us the insights by which we can achieve this through her life-coaching wisdom and our writing.”
–BERNIE SIEGEL, MD, author of The Art of Healing
“Only a talented writer who has fought hard to overcome life’s many obstacles could take her readers by the hand and lead them through
the writing process with such enormous compassion, amazing insight, and kindness. Diana Raab is a powerful, wise, intelligent guide well worth our following.”
–JAMES BROWN, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and The River
“Writing for Bliss is far more than a ‘how-to manual’; it enlightens the creative process with wisdom and a delightful sense of adventure. Bravo to Bliss!”
–LINDA GRAY SEXTON, author of Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton
“Uniquely blending inspiring insights with practical advice, Diana guides you on a path to discover the story that is truly inside you and yearning to be told.”
–PATRICK SWEENEY, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Succeed on Your Own Terms
“Through my writing, mentoring and workshops, I guide others to discover and tell their own unique stories and abiding truths. The craft and practice of writing can be transformative and empowering—a cornerstone for emotional and psychological well-being, and a way to tap into one’s true inner voice and passions.” — Diana Raab
Writing for Bliss is a beautiful book which gently pushes the recalcitrant writer towards actually putting pen to paper. Raab peels away all possible objections and excuses by helping the reader examine their innermost fears and feelings through a series of writing prompts which are all quite challenging to complete whilst offering an insight into your own psyche. It may take courage, she suggests, to deal with what you find there.
This is, on the one hand, a book about writing to find yourself and, on the other, a collection of Raab’s own memories, observations and insights she has gleaned over the years from other writers. Her own writing career began as a reaction to the suicide of her beloved grandmother – it was a kind of therapy for her, as it was again when she suffered from breast cancer.
If you are a writer, and, as a blogger, I certainly consider myself to be one, you will find yourself excited at the prospect of putting pen to paper and wondering what might appears when the words start to flow. I can only hope that the results are as cathartic as Raab suggests they may be.
Whilst actual therapy may be challenging for the more introverted among us, I suspect writing as therapy may just as effective as any time spent on the therapist’s couch.
She’s the author of eight books and over 500 articles and poems, and editor of two anthologies, WRITERS ON THE EDGE: 22 WRITERS SPEAK ABOUT ADDICTION AND DEPENDENCY and WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS. Raab’s two memoirs are REGINA’S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER’S SECRET JOURNAL and HEALING WITH WORDS: A WRITER’S CANCER JOURNEY. Her fourth and most recent poetry collection is called LUST.
Raab has been writing since the age of 10 when her mother gave her a Khalil Gibran journal to help her cope with her grandmother suicide. Since then, she has been using writing as a way of healing and transformation and inspiring others to do the same.
She is the mother of 3 adult children and grandmother to two. She lives in Southern California.<
She blogs for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, and Boomer Cafe.
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.