Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Writer’s Life with Author, Tina M. Games
Hi, I'm Tina M. Games, author of Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery.
I'm often asked, "What was the catalyst for writing your book?"
My book evolved out of a personal story. Shortly after the birth of my first child, and after making some fairly significant life changes at the same time, I fell into depression - a place that felt so foreign to me, a place where I felt like I had fallen into a black hole with no way out. It was during this time, a period that spanned over two years that I had disconnected from everything that made me happy. Because my son suffered from chronic illnesses related to serious colds and severe ear infections, I made a very difficult choice to give up a successful career in order to care for my son full-time. I hadn't realized until this experience how much of my identity was tied into my career. I really enjoyed working. And without that opportunity in my life, I felt very lost and very unhappy.
It was also during this time that I fell back on a great passion of mine - journal writing. As a mom of a baby who did not have a normal sleep schedule, I found myself exhausted and emotional much of the time. So night after night, after I'd get my son settled and after my husband went to bed, I'd grab my journal and retreat to my favorite chair - beside a big bay window where I caught a glimpse of the moon. It was the moon that taught me the meaning of transition. I'd watch this beautiful lunar goddess, night after night, move in and out of her various phases. And before long, I began to connect her phases with my own emotional tides.
I noticed that the moon always began in darkness and gradually, she'd move into full light - and cycle back around again. And I noticed the contrast between dark and light - the darkness of the night sky against the beautiful full moon light. I started connecting to this - as if I was being divinely guided through my own transitions of dark and light. I began to notice the ebbs and flows of my emotions. There were good days and bad days.
And then one day, two years later, I had an ah-ha. After several conversations with my own mother and other mothers whom I had encountered along the way, I began to wonder, "Are there other moms out there who may be having a similar experience?"
I decided to create two focus groups of mothers where we could have honest discussions about motherhood, careers, and life purpose - and how they all fit together. These dialogues eventually led to a series of articles and then to the creation of my coaching practice - where I could work with moms on a deeper level.
This is when I decided to write my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery. I wanted mothers to realize that every human transition begins in darkness and gradually moves into light, where we get a glimpse of what is possible. And then we retreat, to ponder the many ways we can manifest these possibilities into reality. This requires deep work, where we step into our own truth and into our own power - and where we can emerge in the most authentic way possible. This is what I call the Blue Moon phase - when we finally realize that we are here on this Earth to be WHO we are, to put our personal thumbprint on the world in the most truthful, most authentic, most unique way possible. Each one of us are individuals being divinely guided on our own purposeful path.
For me, as a writer, I rely quite a bit on journal writing. It's how I map out my thoughts, my ideas - and where I want to take them, in a way that might benefit a potential reader. As a nonfiction writer, writing primarily in the self-help and personal transformation genres, I weave in lots of journaling prompts for my readers. I want them to have "an experience" with me - one that benefits them in a healing, organic way. So whether it's a book, a workbook or a series of articles, I bring in my love of journal writing and I introduce it in the work I create.
When I sit down to write, I begin first with my journal. I ask myself, "What is my purpose for this piece of writing? How will my reader gain from this?" - and then I begin to map out a plan. Sometimes it's an outline. Sometimes it's a cluster of circles - with my main idea being in the center circle and my points being in little circles (drawn out from the main circle via a line). Once I get my plan worked out, I begin to write. Then I walk away from my writing for a few hours (sometimes a day) to let the thoughts simmer. And when I return, with a fresh mind, I begin the editing/revision process - until I have a finished piece (which could be an article or a chapter).
In my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery, I offer a series of journal writing prompts (called Moonlight Musings) that follow a self-exploration process. Each of these prompts are designed to take a mother to a deeper place within her being - and can take anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how connected a mom might be with a particular question. I've also designed an accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards. Each card offers a prompt that guides moms on an inner journey to discover more about herself and how to honor her gifts in our external world.
One can easily see how journal writing plays a key role in my writing life.
Thanks for allowing me to connect with you here today!
Follow Day 3 of Tina's tour tomorrow at http://www.margotfinke.blogspot.com/.
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.