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How Others See One Year of Writing and Healing

I’ve taken some time now, at the beginning of this site’s second
year, to sift through emails I’ve received during the first year and to
post some of the comments (all with permissions).  Seeing them here in
aggregate, I feel humbled and grateful—the range of folks who have
found something here at this site and who have been generous in sharing
their responses.  It is a wonderful thing for me to have someone see
this site as a small oasis—an inviting table—-

Thank you, again, to everyone who has helped me to grow this site.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like to add your own comment here—–
(or to let me know if a correction needs to be made to anything I’ve already posted).

What a beautiful undertaking and record!  I’ve not seen a more inviting table on this topic anywhere. Thank you so much for sharing your efforts.

—Catherine Miyamoto, RN, Fargo, North Dakota

I’ve just stumbled onto your website and read through a number of your entries.  Thank you for this.  As someone who is actively involved in using writing as a healing approach with cancer patients–and with others–I felt I’d come upon a little oasis.

—Sharon Bray, EdD., Author and Workshop leader, San Diego, California
Author of When Words Heal: Writing Through Cancer


Although we have not met, I feel that I know you.  I feel much appreciation on many levels. I check in on your site regularly and am continually touched and moved by what I find.  It is so beautifully done . . . visually and content wise . . . and has been helpful to me on my grief and life journey.  Thank you!  Quite a feat and I am curious where and what you will do when the year ends . . . what might follow . . . where it will have taken you . . . and so many of us . . .

—Kay McLeod, Teacher, Asheville, North Carolina


Thank you, for your support and for the excellent public work your website does. I recall wandering through bookstores after I had a heart attack in 1985, trying to find something to read that would help me make sense of what I was living through. I found Norman Cousins and Susan Sontag; good books, but not really what I needed. How things have changed. Around the time The Wounded Storyteller was published, some people were just beginning web sites devoted to their illness stories. Flash forward to your site–it’s a whole new world.

—Arthur Frank, Professor, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Author of The Wounded Storyteller and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness Medicine and How to Live


I wanted to say this morning when I came across your website I was blown away. I’ve been in a writing group for many years and I had to tell one of the members about it. It’s fascinating and wonderful and inviting. Thank you for writing it and I only wish I discovered it sooner. It’s just the type of thing that makes me glad to blog and write and read other blogs and websites. There are people doing wonderful and interesting work online.

Sea Glass Girl, South Shore, MA


I was thrilled to find your website this morning.  I’m a psychotherapist and also just completed an MFA.  I lead writing groups and have spent the past several years investigating writing as healing.  I’m also a writer and photographer, and somehow all of these paths have converged over the past few years and led to me to work with people using writing and phototherapy as tools for healing related to illness, grief, trauma, etc.  Thanks for all of the work that you’ve put into your website to share with others!

—Jennifer Johnson, Psychotherapist, Writer, Photographer, Asheville, North Carolina


I have been reading your amazing website and I want to thank you for your generosity of spirit. I would like to use your website in a healing and writing group I will be starting this year at the college.
[And, later in the year—-]
It’s been a great year of healing and writing.  I certainly have used your site for my own healing and writing, as well as for the healing and writing group I had this spring. We were saying how we could use your site for prompts in our writing group and so there are so many possibilities that other writers can be of assistance during your sabbatical or next year.  I took all of the assignments and placed them in a loose-leaf notebook and organized them as they came through. I emailed them to the group or to the other co-therapist and we shared and spoke about many of them.

—Annecy Baez, PhD., Bronx, New York
Director, Counseling Center, Lehman College/ CUNY
Award-winning author of My Daughter’s Eyes and Other Stories


I just want to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your website this
past year.  I find it so inspirational, and the writing exercises are
great!  This type of reading/writing grounds me so much after working
on other writing pursuits.  I have a writing partner with whom I’ve
met weekly for about 4 years now, and our work has been fun and
challenging.  But, as a former psych nurse, I am much more interested
than she in the healing aspects of writing.  We have worked through
both of Fox’s books on poetry as medicine and I loved them.
Please know that we are all out here supporting what you are doing
with your website….it is awesome!

—Carol Wessling, Writer, Nurse, Bellevue, Nebraska


Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your website is beautiful. I was introduced to it last week by Sharon Bray, when I took her class (Amherst Artist and Writers training) to be trained as a writing group leader.  I am an oncology chaplain at UW Hospital and Clinics and I will be leading writing groups for persons living with cancer. Your website is full of wonderful resources. Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

—Libby Caes, M.Div, BCC, Staff Chaplain, UW Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI

I found A Year of Writing and Healing a couple of weeks ago when I was googling for something else. I wish I’d found this last year – there’s so much good stuff on there and you’re about to start again. . .  &nbsp
;I am a psychotherapist in training (in the UK), just finished my 5th year of training and probably have 2 left. I have been interested in creative writing for a long time and I want to integrate this with my client work. . .
This year I want to spend some time writing for myself, writing as healing and I’m really glad I found your site. Looking forward . .

—Jinny Peberday, Psychotherapist in Training, Bristol, United Kingdom


I really enjoyed discovering your website.  I am a Physical Therapist searching for information on writing and support groups.  I work with the aging, and many of my clients with Alzheimers and Parkinsons have in-home caregivers.  As a developing writer, I see the benefits of writing through my own experience with workshops, classes, and   journaling.  I am interested in creating a writing support group for family caregivers.  Thank you for offering so many wonderful resources on your site…it’s just great!

—Carol Cooley, Physical Therapist, Raleigh, North Carolina

I’ve just explored some of your website.  It is fascinating; I can’t wait to read more.  I teach writing and love to write myself.  I have wrestled with rheumatoid arthritis for about twelve years and have thought many times about writing about it.  Your website was a reminder that I need to start.  I tell my students that writing can help them give voice to feelings and help them work through problems.  I need to take my own advice.

—Sharon Thurman, Teacher, Owensboro, Kentucky


Thank you Diane for this.  I am a therapist who was first a lit major, so naturally I find the whole concept intriguing.  Thank you so much.
[later]  I am making a file of all your entries from One Year of . . .
[later yet]  I have found all your pieces to be tremendously helpful.  I look forward to reading your entries and print them to save in a folder.  I hope you keep going when the year is up.  Please.
[and, at the end of one year]  You have been a big influence on me.  I realize that when I semi-retired I immediately filled my time with volunteer work so I wouldn’t have time to write.  Oh, how devious we are!  I am giving almost all of the volunteer stuff up and yes, I’m actually going to start writing every day.  So if I write the great American novel, let it be on your head!

—Linda Willson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Writer, Jacksonville, Florida