Author. Teacher. Coach. Counselor. Therapist. Mother. Wife. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Pet Mother. Human. Not in any particular order. Sometimes all at the same time.
Here is where I blog about writing and mental health, which, if you are a writer, you understand the connection.
"In Till It Stops Beating, Hannah
R. Goodman masterfully renders a tender, heartwarming tale of first love, first
loss, and jelly donuts." --Heather Christie, author ofWhat the Valley KnowsAmazon best-selling author
Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman has always coped with anxiety by
immersing herself into the latest self-help book. Then her grandmother is
diagnosed with cancer, and she spirals so far downward that she almost risks
losing everything she holds dear.
From applying to
college to solving the mystery of why she detests jelly doughnuts to writing a
novel for her senior project and reconnecting with an old flame (or two), the
ever-mounting stress leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to
listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only
in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers what
she needs in order to really live.
In preparation for NaJoWriMo, I have been doing some nightly reading of my journals dating back to 1989, when I was a 13-year-old 8th grader experiencing my first love, all the way through 1999, when I married my college sweetheart.
What strikes me—after the mortifying reality of how teenage-me was so boy-obsessed—is the way my voice and sense of self evolved from 13 to 24. I was always very introspective and self-aware but as a teen, those things were way too clouded by hormones and a desperation to be loved (and my parents’ crumbling marriage). As a young adult, I had unclouded access to that same introspection and self-awareness, which acted as intuitive guides through the terrifying maze of post-childhood, post-college reality, including career and marriage decisions.
Now, here I am at 42, and as I approach a month of pen-to-paper journal writing, I wish for myself that same total access to my inner-me. An access that, in adulthood,—with the onslaught of social media when I was in my late 20s—has been as clouded, at times, as it was during my teenage-hood.
What I have learned in my social-media entrenched adulthood is that I need my public writing outlet (blogging and posting) and my private writing outlet (my dear old diary). Both have helped me to navigate the transition from early adulthood into middle adulthood. Through social media, I can lament and validate the hardships of being a writer, a mother, and a therapist. Through my private journal, I can gripe and moan about things I would never even say out loud…about mothering, writing, and therapy-ing.
I can tell you all this: Nothing I write over the month of April will be for public consumption—and that’s the point, right?