Every so often, follower of “Paul’s Heart” reach out to me with questions. I want to take this opportunity right now to answer those questions.
How do you decide your topics?
I am a very impulsive writer in most cases. With the exception of planned projects, such as short stories I have had published in Visible Ink, various news publications, the majority of posts/stories come from ideas that personally concern me, such as cancer, survivorship, adoption, health care, divorce, and such. An idea might pop into my head, and within hours, I “lose” that urgency to write, and it falls into a cue which currently holds over 500 prompts.
Are there things I will not write about?
I do not believe in censorship, so I would say that I can and would write about anything if I was asked. As a rule, when it comes to “Paul’s Heart”, I generally do not discuss my opinions when it comes to religion and politics because those things are private to me, and I do not want that to interfere with the purpose of this blog, to help and support those experiencing similar life struggles as myself. If I do write about a controversial subject, such as health care, I will do my best to research and present facts. But I have found, that writing about politics or religion, often cause more harm to relationships, and what I want this blog to achieve.
Do you prefer to write fiction or non-fiction?
I am told that I do not give myself enough credit for my writings. I have had several assistants editing many of my pieces, all with different approaches for me. I do not consider myself to have a vivid imagination, yet my writing coaches have a way of drawing out that talent from me. I do prefer to write biographical type pieces, as many of my followers look to “Paul’s Heart” for inspiration. I have written about many others on this blog and the experiences that they have gone through, so the stories are not just about me.
I have taken what I have learned from my writing coaches, and encourage my children to write in a similar fashion, by giving them simple prompts to provoke their imagination.
I do enjoy writing editorial pieces also.
Do you make time to write?
I recall the person who asked me this question. Their claim was that between all of the doctor appointments, work, taking care of their family, this person felt that they had no time to write, in spite of their desire to do so.
I do try to set aside time to write, at least once a week, if not more. It does not always work out that way, because I also have a tendency to get “stuck” not able to put thoughts together to write a piece, perhaps I do not like the finished project, or I just even give up on that particular piece. But unless I have a deadline to meet, I write when I write.
In further discussion with this person, it turned out that they spent on average three hours on a train, commuting to and from work. I mentioned that if they were interested in writing, this time period on the train would be ideal to gather thoughts, to see if there would be anything that they might like to discuss on paper. Time on the train is a perfect and often quiet time to reflect.
Is writing therapeutic for you?
In one word, absolutely. I am a person who internalizes… a lot. I have many emotional struggles as a cancer survivor, one of which is survivor’s guilt. And that is exactly what it says. I also deal with PTSD and anxiety in relation to my survivorship. I do have someone that I speak with, but when I do not have that option available, yes, writing is just one of the things I enjoy to help me relax, along with my other method, music.
Whether you publish something, or just document a thought in some sort of diary, releasing a thought that is of great concern to you through writing is indeed therapeutic. Keeping concerns inside is not good. And all too often, we do not have someone that we can just readily talk to, or may not even be good at listening. We can express our thoughts, reflect on them, and then decide if it is necessary to share with others, or is it good enough that “I” recognize that expressing myself as I had done, that is all that needs to be done. Yes, it is very therapeutic.
Can I share my story on your blog?
As long as it pertains to cancer, survivorship, adoption, or divorce, I am more than happy to share others stories of survivorship and inspiration. You can send your story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
As always, I am so thankful for everyone who reads and follows “Paul’s Heart”. As I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of stories in cue to get to. I think I am caught up on questions.