Our Interview with Lynn Goodwin, Author

B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?” Journaling for Caregivers and is also the Editor of Writer Advice, a website dedicated to promoting authors through its interviews. Her site publishes both experienced and emerging writers, showcasing fresh ideas and high quality writing.

I was blessed to have caught up with Lynn after we met in person at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in August 2010 in King of Prussia, PA.

Lynn, thanks for taking some time from your busy schedule to catch up with us.

Tell us, why are caregivers so overly stressed out? Is it primarily because no one is listening (even ourselves), while we continue to commit to a difficult task?

Lynn: We caregivers are so stressed out because we give and give. At the same time we stuff our own needs into the back of the closet.

Please share with us why you feel it is worthwhile to keep a journal for our own mental health and stress relief.

Lynn: Caregivers need a place where our needs come first. A private journal offers such a place. When a caregiver writes in her journal she can vent, rant, explore, analyze, discover, and find hope. A journal never argues. It lets the writer finish a sentence. It can be come a confidant who makes no demands.

Lynn, your book actually unfolds like a journal, or workbook. Why is it so critical that caregivers write, instead of merely thinking through the responses?

Lynn: Sometimes thinking makes our wheels spin. We obsess. We stay stuck. While this can happen in writing too, there’s something about putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and seeing our words appear on paper that commits us to a course of thought and a course of action.

Writing slows down the racing insanity of negative thoughts. It allows us to dwell in lovely thoughts. It gives us the time to think as we speak on paper. It is a lovely reflection of a moment in time.

In your book, you talk about your “personal record of emotional truth.” Why do so many of us try to run away and not face our “emotional truths?”

Lynn: Good question! Sticky subject. Our emotional truths are uncomfortable. We are ashamed of feelings that are not p.c. Pain, resentments, and a feeling of loss lead to shame. Who wants to write about shame or feelings of inadequacy?

But by writing about them, we can find our way through our obstacles and issues, discover a more balanced truth, and reacquaint ourselves with our dreams.

So, in your opinion, what are we afraid of?

Lynn: I can only speak for myself. I am afraid of my imperfections and the anger that sits bottled up in me for far too long. Writing is one of the safest ways I know of releasing anger, frustration, and fear. When I was a caregiver, I lost sight of the fact that life is a process, and I became afraid that I would never measure up to unrealistic standards I imposed on myself. Journaling helped me move beyond that, and I still do it today.

OK, Lynn. Let’s shift gears. Tell us about WriterAdvice.com.

Lynn: I am proud of the fact that Writer Advice will be celebrating its thirteenth anniversary at the beginning of October. Writer Advice began as a small e-mail newsletter with a mailing list of 35. Originally, I published an author interview and a few writing tips.

Writer Advice has grown into an e-zine with author interviews, reviews, contests, articles by noted authors, advice for emerging writers, and a purpose: we want to be of service and help writers tell their stories. We offer manuscript consultations and are available to answer short questions without charge. We welcome submissions–especially reviews. We have pages about You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers on the site. My mailbox is always open for your comments and questions.

Wow, congratulations on your success! Can you share with us a bit about What prompted you to begin your practice?

Lynn: Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages prompted me to start journaling. Life circumstances convinced me I should continue. If I can’t journal first thing in the morning, I do it later and tell myself, “It’s always morning somewhere.”

I seem to be on a unique path as both a writer and a writing facilitator. One day a writing partner told me she was going to put a book of writing prompts into the world, and about 36 hours later a voice, just outside of my head, said,”Journaling for Caregivers.” When I heard that voice, I knew what I had to do. For years I had known that everyone has great stories to tell and journaling is therapeutic. I knew that all caregivers needed was encouragement, simple instructions, and sentence starts, so they would never have to face the blank page.
The book, which contains over 200 sentence starts, includes all of that.

So…then what is the story behind the website, Writer Advice?

Lynn: I started Writer Advice because I wanted to talk to published authors. I wanted to learn from them. If I interviewed them, I wanted to guarantee that I could publish the article. I am overwhelmed by all of the gracious authors who have shared their experience and advice over the years, and I am thrilled with the way we have grown and expanded.

What is next for Lynn Goodwin?

Lynn: Right now I’m prepping the pages of the thirteenth anniversary issue of Writer Advice. It comes out in October. When I’m not working on reviews or interviews for Writer Advice, I might be journaling, editing, or working on a memoir, tentatively titled “After,” which explores life after my caregiving days ended.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my experience.

Lynn, you are quite welcome! Great interview!

Comments

  1. I agree with you Lynn, some times back, I remember my husband came one evening and told me to pack my belongs and go, at that moment I was stressed up, so I took my small book and noted. after one year He came and ask me to forgive Him, but first thing I did is to let Him know I still remember what happen. through my journal.

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