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Writing for Bliss: A Seven Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life

Writing for Bliss: A Seven Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life


Diana Raab, PhD

Author Bio

Diana Raab, PhD is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, workshop facilitator, and thought-leader and author of 13 books and her poetry and nonfiction has been published and anthologized world wide. She lives in Southern California. Visit


Writing for Bliss is fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both seasoned and novice writers, the book inspires readers to explore their creative natures through storytelling and poetry, examines how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, encourages self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and illustrates how published authors have been transformed by writing. By sharing personal anecdotes throughout, Raab honors her lifelong passion for writing and its therapeutic effects. The book is a culmination of her life’s work—meant to inspire the burning writer who lives within. Suitable for both emerging and esteemed writers. Packed with tips, writing prompts, references and suggested reading. Geared for the emerging writer, the seasoned writer, and those in academia, this book leads spiritual seekers down the path of self-discovery through writing prompts, tools for journaling, and embodied and reflective writing techniques; and offers ways to find the best vehicle for profound self-expression. Those who can benefit from writing a life narrative may have been exposed to early-life trauma, loss, or addiction. Writing your story is a way to reclaim your voice, reveal a family secret, or simply share your story with others. Journaling is a cathartic and safe way to work through your feelings and “direct your rage to the page.” With the help of this indispensible guide to therapeutic writing, you’ll understand yourself better and be able to deal with various challenges in your life, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, loss of loved ones, diseases, and life transitions. Offering step-by-step practical exercises for journaling your thoughts, emotions, and memories, along with techniques to jump-start your writing, Writing for Bliss will help you achieve the therapeutic results of writing for healing, and provides essential information for using this technique to transform your life in a meaningful way.

Book excerpt

Most writers will confess that they write because they have to write, not necessarily because they want to write. They write out of necessity because either it makes them feel better or they want to share their story with the world. I fall into both these categories: writing makes me feel good; when I don’t write, I feel as if something’s missing from my life, plus I also yearn to share my stories with others in the hope that they will resonate in a way that brings healing and a deeper way of knowing and understanding. My beginnings as a writer began when I was ten years old, writing in my journal to help me cope and heal from the suicide of my grandmother, who had also been my caretaker and had lived with us in my childhood home. I was the only child of immigrant parents who worked all day tending their retail dry-goods store in Brooklyn, New York. I was at home with my grandmother. In many immigrant families of the post-World War II era, children were reared by their extended families, particularly grandparents. My grandparents lived with us, and while my grandfather spent much of his time in New York City becoming culturally acclimated, my maternal grandmother, Regina, stayed home to take care of me. It was a hot Indian summer day common to the season. We lived in a suburban community along with other immigrant families, and I had many playmates in the neighborhood. I was excited to go swimming in her pool. With a child’s enthusiasm, I knocked on my grandmother’s door to ask for permission. There was no answer. I called to her, but there was only silence. Trembling with fear, I phoned my parents at their store. I sat with my nose pressed to the front bay window until they drove up the driveway in Dad’s pink car that matched the house’s shingles—the color he had painted them the day I was born. My parents dashed out of the car and up to Grandma’s room. Before I knew what was going on, my beloved grandmother was being carried down our creaky wooden stairs on a stretcher and put into an ambulance. I never saw her again. Like most children, I took the experience in stride and did not think too much about it. There was no doubt that I missed my grandmother, Regina, the only grandmother I ever knew. My mother knew I was grieving and wanted to help me through the trauma of having lost my grandmother. Reaching out to therapists was not done in those days; and even if it had been, we would not have had the money for it. My grandmother had been a journal keeper. After some contemplation on how to help me cope with the loss of this important person in my life who had also been my caretaker, my mother went to the nearest stationery store and bought me a blank, red leather journal with sayings by Kahlil Gibran on. I had many favorites, but in coping with the loss of my grandmother, this is the one that helped me: “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

Genre Non-Fiction
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