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Why I Wrote "Trials & Tribulations of a Healing Heart"
Thursday, March 17, 2022
I always knew I was going to publish more books. One reason was that I left a lot of poetry out of Everything But a Smile, even though I knew they deserved to be there. Another reason was I knew I was going to publish more books because I purchased so many ISBN in a package when I published my first book.
I left a lot of poetry out of the first book that should have stayed there for context and a personal release. I did it to save my marriage, at the time, the embarrassment because we decided to stay together. Even today, I can’t believe I stayed through all of that, but I felt like I needed to be careful about what I put out since I decided to stay.
In the long run, that decision bit me in the ass in multiple ways. I got some great feedback from Everything But a Smile. It made me feel good to know that my book inspired people to leave their abusive spouses, but I felt strange because I hadn’t left my own. My pain was private. Only a few close friends really knew what was going on, and they still didn’t know the half because the other half was too heartbreaking and embarrassing to say without me looking as crazy as I was for staying. Through time and observation, I’ve realized that staying in toxic relationships of any kind, is not a representation of strength and endurance as the people who stay through the bullshit would like you to believe, but a reflection of the mental prison created by a lack of self-love.
About a year after I left, I asked someone I thought was my friend for her perspective on what was going on, and she gave me an interesting account of what she thought my marriage was. The reality is, she was his friend first, and in the end, I would find out she was his friend last. She did tell me that based on what he said to her and his initial actions, she believed he was the breadwinner of the family until she spent time around us to see what was real. As I shared my truth with her, it was weird because she acted so surprised about his actions towards me. She knew about the women, his questionable business, and his shady actions towards her and other people, but she didn’t know about the deep stuff, the things that were hard to say out loud. The irony was that the same person used to come to my house to hide when her man was abusive to her, but I never shared my experiences with her, and she missed the fresh holes in my bedroom walls. I asked her if she remembered reading my book years ago. She sat right next to me and read all the sad poems in my face before I published them. I asked her who she thought the poems were about. She thought they referenced an old relationship.
Everything But a Smile was my chance to scream and yell and I didn’t take it. Growing up, I never saw my parents argue, so I was never the type to make a scene in front of company. My former spouse kept our home full of people, used that to his advantage, and created an illusion of what we had. He had people believing I was down for some of the most messed up things when I wasn’t and that he was the breadwinner.
I didn’t write Trials & Tribulations of a Healing Heart to clear the air. In the wee hours of the morning in the last part of 2005, I received a spiritual download. The message was that I would write for my daughters to help guide them through life. When I get stuck, my editor, Sheronda Gipson, reminds me that this book is for everyone’s daughters - the grown women and the young women coming of age. I’ve held on to some of this poetry for over a decade, and I wanted to share it with the world at the right time. It is now. I am so grateful for the healing modalities and therapies used to help me heal and keep pushing through the storms. I wanted to shine a light on the modalities and treatments so that another person who is lost and suffering can know which direction to look toward to see the light of the lighthouses when they get lost in a sea of their tears. I endured so much betrayal and heartbreak and prayed to drown in my own tears at times. The climb back up to sea level wasn’t anything like the hugging moment at the end of The Color Purple. On the way up, I had to face the fact that I hurt some very important people while I was hurting.
This book was written to help people understand the signs of multiple types of abuse, depression, and healing. I share lots of information with my daughters in my everyday life because I pray they will never endure what I have. This book is for grown-ups, but the knowledge is there to help you heal and share with the naive and unaware.
About Trials and Tribulations of a Healing Heart
Trials & Tribulations of a Healing Heart is a memoir full of poetry, journal entries, essays, and accounts of twisted love stories, a magickal uprising, and the highs and lows of healing while trying to break generational curses and function as an adult in modern society.
This book reflects on the struggles of enduring and overcoming abuse while maintaining the roles of mother, business owner, employee, and wife. The book includes tactics, therapies, rituals, and medicines used to cope and heal through the chaos.
The collection of works spans from the span of 2011 to 2022.
Tools for Writing Trials & Tribulations of a Healing Heart
Years ago, I realized how some of my best ideas, concepts, and spiritual downloads came when I was doing something other than sitting in front of a computer ready to type or in the zone with a pen and pad. Every time, I swore I would remember what was in my head on the car ride or while I was out, and by the time I got in front of the computer, I would have no remembrance of what came to me before. Sometimes it would come back to me, but I got tired of the gamble.
Google Keep is a free note-taking app with so many organizational capabilities. At this point, I feel like I’ve been using Google Keep forever, but it came out in 2013. It captures pictures, lists, voice recordings, and whatever you type. It also keeps a record of when a post was originally created. That information was gold for this project. I still love Google Keep, but they discontinued support for it in 2021, so it looks like it is phasing out.
How to Use Google Keep For Writing and Life
Say or type what comes to you. Google Keep backs up to your Google Drive, so the information is there for you on every device your choose.
When it is time to work on your project, refer to Google Keep, Copy and paste what was there to Google Docs or whatever platform you choose.
I use Google Keep for ideas, social media captions, storing my hashtags, grocery lists, and more.
As far as my writing process is concerned, I use Google Keep as a reference tool and repository for ideas and writings. They sit there until I am ready to work on them further on a different platform.
Journey was a great tool for this project. It is a journal app that keeps track of your geo-location, the weather, date, and time of when you post an entry. It is a flexible cloud app and I was able to pull some jewels from this project. Having memories and documentation are two different things. Capturing my state of mind during this period of my life was essential to me, and Journey helped so much. A lot of what can be done in Journey, can also be done in Google Keep, but Journey has a deeper level of security, + the time, weather, and location coding are beautiful. I found old journal entries and poems in Journey. Looking at the location for my entries helped with piecing together the past.
How to Use Journey for Writing
Try your best to be consistent
Canva is a simple design platform that has saved so much time for so many people. You can create logos, design book covers, social media graphics, presentations, videos, audio, and more. Every year they keep coming up with more options.
How to Use Canva for Writing
Create your book cover
Design your interior page graphics
Create your promotional graphics
I used Scrivener for Trials & Tribulations of a Healing Heart and Everything But a Smile. Yes, you can use Google Docs to write a book, but writing significant works is deeper than typing what comes to mind. Organization of thoughts and structure are key.
Imagine having index cards, folders, and paper all on your computer in one program + extra space for research notes - this is Scrivener. When I am writing more than a blog post, I feel it is necessary to use Scrivener. I almost feel naked without it because when it comes to how I organize my physical and digital files, I could probably be diagnosed with OCD.
The no-distraction energy of Scrivener is great because it helps your focus on what you came to do.
How to Use Scrivener for Writing
Start your blog post series in Scrivener for a distraction-free experience
Organize your writing ideas to see the big-picture
Use Scrivener for more significant works
Craft a Screenplay
Write a Graphic Novel
Release the standard novel you swore you would always write
Use Google Docs for formatting. Once I organized the sequence of poems, journal entries, and essays, I was able to bring them over to Google Docs to format them and give them a proper edit. This is when I can do my own editing and invite my editor in to tag team this massive experience with me. Google Docs is great for collaborations like this. The suggestion tool is just lke red-lining in other programs. I also use the professional version of Grammarly for editing support in Gooogle Docs.
How to Use Google Docs for Writing
Google Docs can help you format in ways that Scrivener cannot
Google Docs can export to e-book format as well as every other text format
Grammarly can be used alone or as a Google Doc add-on. It is great for removing unnecessary spaces, spelling and grammar checks, and so much more.
Be careful with Grammarly because you will lose your writing style if you follow all of their clarity and conciseness suggestions.
When I wrote my last poetry book, I got a ton of questions about my writing process and how I put it all together. The section above provides a general idea. I have often considered creating a writing course that covers the process from concept to publishing. Subscribe to my email list to stay informed on content and happenings to come.