When Susan Dion was 35, she developed a chronic illness, one that severely altered her life. Throughout the years of illness that followed, she turned to writing as a way to cope with her grief and anger over her loss of health. As she puts it:
“I did not feel less sick, but my emotional life and connections to a larger world seemed richer.
In this sense, writing improved my spirits.”
The times when she could write were brief, but she persisted and eventually wrote an upbeat, but realistic, book that helps others find the same comfort and inspiration that writing provided her, Write Now: Maintaining a Creative Spirit While Homebound and Ill.
The 88-page book first answers the question, Sickness and creativity: Why bother?, and then provides concrete strategies for finding the strength and the courage to write through illness and pain. Dion provides ideas about what pens are easiest to hold and offers suggestions about what to do with them once they’re in your hand. Those writing projects include making lists, journaling, letter writing, poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
First published in 1993 with a grant from the Puffin Foundation, Write Now has gone through three more printings. These were funded by further grants from the Puffin Foundation, The National Association for Poetry Therapy, the New Jersey CFS Association and donations from readers.
Because of Dion’s commitment to sharing what she gained from the writing process with others, the book is free.
It’s also free to duplicate.
“Write Now often assists folks in shock – people struggling with a whirl of emotions as they confront a life-changing illness, disorder, injury or disability,” she has commented about the impact the book has had.
If you want to begin to sort through the issues disability or chronic pain has handed you, find comfort, escape or learn once more how to smile, this is the book for you. Not only will Dion’s exercises and suggestions provide you with hope and help, the writings of several people living with long-term health problems will provide you with inspiration.
To obtain a free copy of Write Now, send a self-addressed, stamped 6×9 envelope with $1.26 postage to Dion. If you’d like it on a computer disc, send a 3.5-inch computer disc and specify whether you want the file in Mac or PC format.