Sep 19, 2017

Writing for Bliss - Diana Raab

My Review:

I wrote all the time as a child. I wrote poetry and journal entries, short stories, even songs. I wrote all through my teenage years and while I was pregnant, and then when I had my second child I stopped. I was very busy and I somehow didn’t have time for reading and writing and life became very difficult. 

Later, when I began home schooling, I found more time for reading again. In the early hours of the morning when other mums were busy with the school rush, I had a few moments to myself and life got a little easier. But it was only when I started writing again, journaling again and even blogging, that things turned around and I began to really get myself together. But now I am stuck in a kind of rut, with lots of ideas and many unfinished manuscripts. I’m finding it hard to prioritise writing when I have work, study, family duties and (let’s face it) the distracting Internet.

The book “Writing for Bliss” was just the book I needed to shake things up a bit. Whether you have never written before, are a sometimes writer, or you just feel stuck like me, then this book can help.

Partly autobiographical and partly self-help this book provides lots of advice:

I like to mention what Zen master Shunryu Suziki referred to in his book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (1976), as maintaining the sensibility of the “beginner’s mind.” The idea is that the beginner’s mind tends to be open to many possibilities, unlike the expert’s mind, which only sees few.
It also provides practical tips such as:
One rule about writing is that if you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader.
Writers need privacy and solitude to tap into their creative selves.

And writing prompts, to get you started:
Writing Prompt 2:7 – Exploring a Vivid Dream
On another occasion, recall a vivid dream. Describe in detail the images in it. Note the feelings you associate with the dream. What does the dream remind you of in your present or past circumstances?

Using a combination of psychology and creative writing techniques, Diana Raab leads the reader through a journey of therapeutic artistic pursuit. This is the perfect companion to the Art Therapy I have been doing, because it uses similar principles, but encourages my need to create using words.

There is so much great advice about visualization and getting past those creative blocks. Sometimes there are things in our life that are difficult to write about, but you know Raab has been there, and can help guide you through. Furthermore, it is backed by Raab’s own research into the transformative power of writing one’s memoirs.

As I begin to get unstuck using these ideas, I know as I continue my manuscripts that I will return again and again to this powerful guide for advice. It also includes a handy Index and Bibliography. 

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

Continue after the jump break for author details and a giveaway:

A Seven-Step Plan For Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life

Writing for Bliss is most fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both the seasoned and novice writer, it will lead you to tap into your creativity through storytelling and poetry, examine how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and, understand how published writers have been transformed by writing.

Poet and memoirist Raab (Lust) credits her lifelong love of writing and its therapeutic effects with inspiring her to write this thoughtful and detailed primer that targets pretty much anyone interested in writing a memoir. Most compelling here is Raab's willingness to share her intimate stories (e.g., the loss of a relative, ongoing struggles with cancer, a difficult relationship with her mother). Her revelations are encouraging to writers who feel they need "permission to take... a voyage of self-discovery." The book's seven-step plan includes plenty of guidance, including on learning to "read like a writer," and on addressing readers as if "seated across the table ." Raab covers big topics such as the "art and power of storytelling" and small details such as choosing pens and notebooks that you enjoy using. She also helps readers with the important step of "finding your form." --PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

Available to buy from....
From Loving Healing Press

"Writing for Bliss is about the profound ways in which we may be transformed in and through the act of writing. I am grateful to Diana Raab for sharing it, and I trust that you will feel the same as you read on. May you savor the journey." --from the foreword by MARK FREEMAN, PhD 

"By listening to ourselves and being aware of what we are saying and feeling, the true story of our life's past experience is revealed. Diana Raab's book gives us the insights by which we can achieve this through her life-coaching wisdom and our writing." --BERNIE SIEGEL, MD, author of The Art of Healing 

"Only a talented writer who has fought hard to overcome life's many obstacles could take her readers by the hand and lead them through the writing process with such enormous compassion, amazing insight, and kindness. Diana Raab is a powerful, wise, intelligent guide well worth our following." --JAMES BROWN, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and The River 

"Writing for Bliss is far more than a 'how-to manual'; it enlightens the creative process with wisdom and a delightful sense of adventure. Bravo to Bliss!" --LINDA GRAY SEXTON, author of Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton 

"Uniquely blending inspiring insights with practical advice, Diana guides you on a path to discover the story that is truly inside you and yearning to be told." --PATRICK SWEENEY, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Succeed on Your Own Terms

“Through my writing, mentoring and workshops, I guide others to discover and tell their own unique stories and abiding truths. The craft and practice of writing can be transformative and empowering—a cornerstone for emotional and psychological well-being, and a way to tap into one’s true inner voice and passions.” -- Diana Raab

Other books by the author...  
About the author
Diana Raab, PhD is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, workshop leader and speaker. Her passion is writing for healing and transformation.

She's the author of eight books and over 500 articles and poems, and editor of two anthologies, WRITERS ON THE EDGE: 22 WRITERS SPEAK ABOUT ADDICTION AND DEPENDENCY and WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS. Raab's two memoirs are REGINA'S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER'S SECRET JOURNAL and HEALING WITH WORDS: A WRITER'S CANCER JOURNEY. Her fourth and most recent poetry collection is called LUST.

Raab has been writing since the age of 10, when her mother gave her a Khalil Gibran journal to help her cope with her grandmother suicide. Since then, she has been using writing as a way of healing and transformation and inspiring others to do the same.

She is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandmother to two. She lives in Southern California.

She blogs for for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, and Boomer Cafe.

Find the author on the following sites...

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.


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  1. Oh I hope you do continue, I'm so pleased you find it so useful, thank you for sharing today xx

  2. Kate, Thanks so much for the wonderful review. I'm thrilled that WRITING FOR BLISS is just the book you needed.
    Enjoy the journey!

    Blissfully yours,


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