Please welcome today award-winning author, mental health advocate, ultramarathoner, and dog mom. Nita Sweeney! Nita Sweeney has earned a reputation for vulnerability and authenticity. She shares honestly and openly about her mental health journey and the tips and tools she has learned to help her "stay on the planet."
Nita Sweeney is the award-winning wellness author of the running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink and co-creator of the writing journal, You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving.
A certified meditation leader, mental health advocate, ultramarathoner, and former assistant to writing practice originator Natalie Goldberg, Nita founded the groups Mind, Mood, and Movement to support well-being through meditation, exercise, and writing practice, and The Writer’s Mind, to share using writing practice to produce publishable work.
Nita also publishes the writing resource newsletter, Write Now Columbus. Nita lives in central Ohio with her husband, Ed, and their yellow Labrador retriever, Scarlet.
So, without further ado, joining us from Central Ohio, USA, please welcome Nita Sweeney
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Unknown Speaker 0:00
Hello, I'm your host the gentle yoga warrior, and today is going to be inspiring. We have a special guest on the show who is gifted with the pen. Please welcome today award winning offer. Mental health advocate, certified meditation teacher, ultra marathoner and dog mom Nita Sweeney has been talking about a little bit more about you Nita has earned a reputation for vulnerability and authenticity. She shares honestly and openly about her mental health journey, and the tips and tools she has learned to help her stay on the planet. Nita Sweeney is an award winning wellness author of the running and mental health memoir. Depression hates moving target, how running with my dog bought me back from the brink and CO creator of the writing journal, you should be writing wishes a journal, in case you don't know listeners that inspires and instructs you to keep your pen moving, which is always a good thing I would say. So Anita was also a former assistant to write and practitioner Natalie Goldberg. And when I was putting together this podcast, I'm thinking how do I know that name and I looked on my bookshelf and I've actually got one of Natalie's writing books. Anita founded the group mind, mood and movements to support well being from meditation, exercise and writing and the rightest mind to share using Writing Practice produce publishable work not to stop there and this woman is amazing. Anita also has also published the Writing Resources newsletter called writes now, Columbus, Nisa lives in central Ohio with her husband, Edie, and the yellow Labrador retriever, Scarlet. I love a good dog. So without further ado, joining us from Central Ohio, USA, please welcome Anita Sweeney,
Unknown Speaker 1:59
for much for being here. Thank you for reading that.
Unknown Speaker 2:04
We are going to talk about how to make everything of moving meditation. So meditation is something very close to my heart as well. It's helped me through a lot of obstacles within my life. And I'm really interested to hear what you have to say about this, how can we make every movement or everything a meditation and what inspired to you to talk about it today, I've been meditating
Unknown Speaker 2:26
a very long time. And one of the things that they often do at retreats is walking meditation. And so you're moving. And when I began to run, it took me a little while to figure it out. But I realised that I sort of naturally meditate. When I do almost anything. Now, of course, my mind wanders, I'm not perfect at it, I have my good days, my bad days. But the type of meditation that I practice, it comes from the past on a public word, people might know that insight meditation or mindfulness meditation, that's probably a more common word. And the idea is to keep your head where your feet are, to keep your mind where your body is, there's not so much what you're doing or not doing with your body. But it's what you're doing with your mind. And so the teachers I've studied with, and the books I've read just reiterated the fact, a lot of times when I run, especially even if I'm in a group, if it's quiet, or I call back are that ahead, and then kind of by myself, I have a congenital defect in my ankle. And I'm not sure if that's why but I tend to have sensation, sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant in my foot, my left foot. And so I will just bring my mind to my left foot. I'm not thinking about my left foot. I'm not, I mean, some of the image that comes on my mind, but I'm trying to just experience what left foot what metres left foot feels like in any given moment? No, is it hitting the ground harder than the other foot? Is it comfortable? What's that feel like in my shoe? Can I feel my socks? All of that. And so what that does is it brings me into the moment and we talk about it. People talk about news, what's what meditation, but the idea is that I'm in the moment. And for me as a person with mental health issues. As someone who is now considered a mental health advocate, the importance of the present moment, is that it's usually just on things just you and me and the audience. But we're all just sitting here. You're listening on talking. And that's it. There are yes other things going on in the world, good things, bad things, wonderful things, horrible things, but this moment, I'm okay. So it helps reduce anxiety. It can literally bring your blood pressure down. There's so many studies about the benefits of being in moments, essentially, which is what they're talking about with meditation. And so it's become a tool, like a really, really basic tool, I have three main tools that I use, but that's, that's one of the big, the big three. Oh, great. The movement, so because he, especially a movement, where you at least break a sweat that not even it doesn't have to be hard, but movement has tonnes of physical emotional and cognitive benefits also. And so for me, it is running just to the for life, but it could be anything, it could be Zumba, pickleball, you know, Jazzercise yoga with goats anything. And but there's something about that the effort and getting your heart rate up a little bit. circulation improves. And that makes us nervous, those happy brain chemicals neurotransmitters go. So that's, that's the second one. And then writing practice writing as a practice, which I learned from Natalie Goldberg when I studied with her and assisted her for a number of years. So you could call it journaling. But it's a little bit different. Because with writing practice, you focus on sensory detail texturing images, and texture and sound. And being very concrete, because you're in the moment you're writing about it, maybe the memory of a moment. But you're right in a moment. So those are my things, writing, meditation and movement.
Unknown Speaker 6:36
What an amazing free, free to have as well. I don't do running myself, but I do yoga, and meditation and writing, but not to the level that you're doing your writing with us the kind of things that I really, really enjoy. So I was, I suppose, so keen to get you on the show and speak with you. For you personally, what is the number one benefit you have found from meditation?
Unknown Speaker 6:58
Yeah, reduction in anxiety, I had panic attacks. I had racing heart racing mind. And I'm still a generally anxious person, that if I can bring my mind back to what's actually happening, as opposed to what I'm afraid will happen, because what I'm actually afraid of, is fears. It's like a fear of fear. No, that's all sounds silly. But that's the truth. Especially when I was having panic attacks. You don't have a panic attack all day long. But I was living in fear of the next attack. And so I was able to do kind of a deep sensitization, even mindfulness to bring myself back, I couldn't, there was a period of time when I couldn't drive on the freeway, when I had a real hard time even making myself leave the house. And with the help of both excellent therapists, and then I kind of figured out my own way to sensitise. And mindfulness was a big part of that, because I kept zoning out. And when I would zone out, the sensation was crazy. But if I can bring myself back to now, what what does it really feel like not what do I think it feels like. And also, part of meditation is a mind state called equanimity, balance of mind. And you practice that, when you practice that when you're sitting still, and there's nothing going on or you're standing in a grocery line, practice it when it's not hard. So that when it is hard, you've built that tool, ready to get on a highway ramp. And I feel the sensations rising, anxiety rising, my heart rates going up. And instead of adding an extra layer of fear, on top of that, I was able to kind of open my mind and get curious about what it all felt like. And it's much more ways than particle, it's much more flowing than solid. And there's something about that, that just made it less painful, less theory. And it took time, but I was able to work through that I still have I mean, I still have days, yesterday was kind of a day. And that's just the way it is. But yeah, that's that's the biggest thing is
Unknown Speaker 9:14
I used to have panic attacks as well. And you just like you said, they don't last very long, but it can just make you feel really kind of, I don't know, is the fear of having another one. Through my mindfulness practice. I kind of learned how to kind of overcome that I can totally empathise because it just feels so overwhelming. And I just love the way that you you've learned to navigate them. And I think that's going to be of great value to any of our listeners or anyone else that has experiences similar sort of thing and also the fact we will have off days, some days, some days it's possible really to be completely happy and balanced every single day but it's having the tools to kind of like help oneself when needed and also kind of work If you're gonna sell daily, which gives lots of value, I think to, to our general well being, is what is the number one mental health tip you could share with our audience on proper
Unknown Speaker 10:11
storing proper scoring. Time that is so hard, I'd say it like it's so easy. But it's so hard to just experience what is actually happening, as opposed to the extra layer. And the story could be about myself, it could be about somebody else, it could be a past fear. But it's usually not in a moment, what's actually happening our thoughts and body sensations, right. And again, we have to train ourselves to do that. It's not something that is actually a natural mind state meditation. But we experience it in such a fleeting way that we don't even realise we're doing. But most people have dropped into a meditative state at some point in their lives. And so the meditation practice teaches us how to do it on purpose
Unknown Speaker 11:16
when we want to make makes it easier for us was to get there and we want to do the running. I was listening to your book the last couple days depression hits a moving target. And, and you're very frank and honest account of of your running but showed like the seriousness of mental health health problems. But also you, you managed to put some humour into the way you wrote as well, but not in a way that you were making fun of your phone of the seriousness of the matter. But I just thought while this this, because I was actually listening to the audiobook, and I just thought, Wow, this sounds really honest, but also very real and, and entertaining, but not entertaining from the sense that we're entertained by what you went through. But just the way you kind of really capturing like the details of our things, and in a really kind of honest and beautiful way.
Unknown Speaker 12:13
I've been writing for many, many years. And I had another book that I thought was going to be sort of the first one that would get published was about the last time I get this a lot of fun a lot of times, but this one called depression, a target, as you said. And it combined my newfound love of running. Because I'm sort of a late bloomer. With the mental health journey I'm on, which I'm still on was not didn't cure me. But it sure did help. And humour has always been, I have a kind of a quirky sense of humour that sometimes gets me in trouble because people are drawn and people don't always, especially on email, or just a joke. But so I had to, I just let that rip in the book. And of course, it's censored many, many, many, many, many religions. And some people would say it needs another revision. But there's a joke in writing that writers don't actually finish projects, they simply abandon them. At some point, you hit the deadline, and you just hear it's done. And you could always do it. But I'm very proud of that, because it felt like I was able to tell my authentic story of who I am. And that was the right time in the world. When mental health was really, really, really coming on the scene. It was the right time for this particular publisher manual Publishing Group, they were ready for a book like that. It was the right time for me. Because if I hadn't gotten that book about my dad published 10 years earlier, there's, I wouldn't have been able to sit here with you. I was still so mentally ill, that I just, I can't imagine doing some of the things I do now to help promote the book. I wouldn't have had the stamina to write the book. The stamina, for me comes from long distance running back from from other people. It's any kind of exercise or there's something in your life that helps you build stamina. And so that just felt like the right book, the right time, the right publisher, and the right time for me all kind of came together. And it's all the little businesses. And my editor Brendan night. I, jokingly I probably should stop calling by call my fairy godmother because I pitched that book to a whole bunch of publishers a whole bunch of I mean hundreds before that manga picked it up. And it is. Like I said, I only have two books that I had tried, but I've written 10 books. They're just in there. Rate drafts over the years over many, many, many, many years. And so I wrote an article called something like took me 20 years to become an overnight sensation or something like that. Because that's not what I mean it was it but it took me that long to get this and it feels very much like running a long race.
Unknown Speaker 15:19
There's some way still. I have a app on my phone, that I can record cars.
Unknown Speaker 15:52
And I also do a lot of walking to I run, but I do sometimes I do run walk, where part of the time I'm I'm walking also. So I do sometimes have a thought, and then I'll record it. But a lot of times I really try to meditate online. And that's a really good question. Because I have a hard time on days that I run. That feels, to me like that takes a lot of time. But, you know, the long long run usually only happen on the weekends. During the week, I'm running maybe two or three miles, which to somebody else might feel like a really long way. But when you run marathons or even half marathon was just searching point one miles, two miles, didn't take that long. That made a difference. But ya know, that's a it's a great question. If you figure out the answer, you're actually the first thing that pops in my head was a deadline. And it needs for me, it needs to be an external deadline. So that could be contests that I want to enter, or grant I want to apply for. The publisher gives me a deadline, I'm constantly asking my editor, she'll ask me for something and I'll say, I need to know, drop dead day you want that. And so she's gotten good national say, we need this like, like I have this new book coming out, which I'm very excited about. And there's this thing called an author questionnaire, which is all about how I'm going to promote the book and my social media and lots of information that will help them the publisher do their promotion. And so she sent me that here's the other questionnaire. And so we had planned a month. So she sent that external deadline, because when I set a deadline, I don't know if you said this. When I set a deadline, I listen to the whooshing sound as it goes flying by I don't know it doesn't. I just ignore. So I have other things, other ways that I am creating external deadlines. I also use there's a thing called National Novel Writing Month, in November, a lot of the books that I've done the really, really crappy first draft I've dealt in November, where I just kind of download my brain and tried to get 50,000 words or something. And I often write nonfiction on what's called a rebel. But that kind of structure has to be some kind of external structure. That's not me saying I'm going to do it. Right. That's the best thing that helps me. And I don't know, I used to be kind of ashamed of that. But the more I'm around some writing coaches, other people who coach writers, that's actually very common for people to need external deadlines or external, some kind of external structure to help them get the work done.
Unknown Speaker 18:33
Oh, that's so that's a really good answer. For any of our listeners, who would like to take writing it as a as a way of kind of, maybe because you want to get published or, or to kind of bring more mindfulness into their life, I know that you have a book on writing, do you want to explain a bit about how that came about. And
Unknown Speaker 18:54
the book on writing is actually mostly blank pages with sometimes private people. But it's a writing journal. So what we did, my editor actually invited me to help her with the two of us kind of a collaborative project. And she goes to a lot of writing conferences, and she hears really awful advice about writing. And so we chose some of our best quotes from other authors. Some of them are famous, some of them are people you would never hear of. And we've just put those at the top of each page, but we organise them kind of by topic. So there's one on sort of discount of language, there's more texture on inspiration, there's one chapter on the craft. So the old authors who are long, long on and look up this one about how to feeding yourself as an author, and then there's one about giving back. But the clothes are organised by those little topics of chapters, and I wrote a little tiny introduction and I'm using my tiny, one paragraph actually forget, checkers are mostly it's just a book that's blank for you to do your work. And that we call it you should be writing because that's what an author always thinks or a writer always
Unknown Speaker 20:13
brilliant is, it sounds a good way to get started writing or if you're already an existing writer to kind of get the motivation because it can be hard sometimes to kind of sit down and do that. But I do I find that writing journals as really good for me when I want to release things, like just picking up a pen in the morning and just writing and just seeing what what comes out. I find that very calming and a nice a nice way to be in definitely mindfulness. I also might people that run, I can walk for miles or kilometres and kilometres. But running is something I've always shied away from. But at the same time, I really admire people that run from reading your book, I'm guessing it's quite hard to start with. But it's perseverance. And it must be a lot of mental strength involved with that to persevere.
Unknown Speaker 21:07
I have deadlines. I sign up for a race, and I'm supposed to train. And I have a training schedule. And that's how it really started it started with I thought I was in a really bad place. Really, really dark place emotionally. After a bunch of different things happened, including a year we're not like everybody died. I mean, everybody, including my 24 year old niece, my father in law, and then finally my mother's there were seven people and in 11 month period of time. So I thought of my high school friend posted on social media that call me crazy, but this running is going to be fun. And I really thought we needed to call someone in habit, what do a wellness check on her because I could not imagine her running. Imagine myself. But I kept sort of watching her. And then eventually, one day I looked up the training plan that she was using this as an interval plan, Walk Run. And it said 60 seconds or 60 seconds. And it's a lot more than that. But that's all I saw. And that kind of stayed with me and I kept thinking. And so eventually, because I'm paranoid, I took the dog down into very close to our house, how to push that way back. So nobody can really see me and took a little digital timer. I just stand there from a wildcard button. And it's so it's so much mental, but yet it's mental. For me, I and a lot of people are kind of driven in the way that they push themselves. But I'm better I am very driven. But only when I can drop all that. And then just take a step forward. If I feel that push, then I want to push back. So it's actually yes, mental. But it's just, it's just about taking the steps I just put on the clothes, was the dog, got the timer, got to the ravine, hit the button took the first step, you know that kind of chunking it down into tiny little steps. I like to say that I make my goal posts too small that I can't fail. I'm so tiny that I can't. And I do fail sometimes it has completely changed my life. I don't even nai difficult failures. How can you say that? Well, I was on six medications at one point. And now I'm on one, two, but one mental health meds and take a thyroid medication. And I wasn't sure I wanted to live. And now I just got back from Virginia Beach where I ran a half. But my budget friends were there. We had amazing views I could have I got a book published, which I could not do. I tried. I really really tried it and I could not do that. And now I got second book, the writing journal and a third one on the way. So you know, it's weird. It doesn't have to be for human, it's still good. Maybe it's the walk. It may be I don't know what it is. But I just feel like there is definitely some activity that can help. So I just encourage people to not give up until they find something and have to be something was I mean, I would not want if I didn't like it. I just wouldn't. I had a great interview with a guy Dan Skinner from prognosis Ohio. And he kept telling me all the reasons running was awful. And I finally said who just might not be a runner. If you don't like to run, don't run
Unknown Speaker 25:37
Look what look what gifts it gave to the world, that your, your wonderful books, all the stuff that you do for the community. It's absolutely amazing. And I think quite often people can read things, oh, you should be doing this, you should be doing that. But when they hear from people like yourself Anita, who's who has been very honest, but also transformed their life and is also very human about obstacles that they may still have, I think that's really shows people that there is a possibility to change, and we can change by changing something in our daily routine, I was factually post
Unknown Speaker 26:13
on Instagram, I'm on Instagram a lot. And I post little videos maybe every other week, where I taught the scarlet my dog, the dog I have now is sitting behind me and I talk about what I'm going to use as my option and meditation that day. And they're always down in the ravine, right at that spot. Where is winter, the winter is very white,
Unknown Speaker 26:36
mostly. I know that you've got a new book out called Make every move in meditation for better mental health, your state the world is at the moment, there's no better time to help support people on their mental health journey. Can you explain a bit about this book and and when it's out and how people can get hold of it, I'll also put a link on my online bookstore as well, which is on my website,
Unknown Speaker 27:01
robots make every movement meditation, if I can get the long one in mind, for mental health, well being an insight, my idea was that we hear a lot about sitting meditation. And that's fabulous. I recommend it highly. I still do sitting meditation. But I meditate when I'm moving. And so I wanted to explain how I do that. That's very similar to what I said earlier. So you could read the book, and use everything that's in it, and apply it to certain practices, same process. But the position instead of sitting, is moving. There's also some additional chapters that about how that's different. And also about performance, because it helps with sports performance, or enjoyability, all those kinds of things. ahead with your mind where your body is. So that's how it kind of started was me realising I've been meditating for many years, I've been doing my writing practice, added run into the mix. And that felt like the trifecta. And so in depression, it's moving target, I talk really a lot about the mental health part about it. I wanted to kind of share that story. I mentioned meditation a lot. But I didn't really explain how I use that when I want. So this book explains, and it's due out from Mango, August 9. But you can pre order it now it's available, it's available for pre order that to take back on all the sites man. And they just put the cover outside. About a couple weeks now it's yeah, that's that's it, I, I took a course or 200 hour meditation leader training. Now, just to get the dentals, kind of because I've been meditating for so many years, and I've been teaching people to meditate. But I wanted to learn a lot more of a history in depth. And so man did redo that segment, where I took that they did such a great job and giving us information and also about trauma, that if people have a history of trauma, what might happen if they meditate. And regular people can sometimes have weird experiences with meditation, what to do then, but the book covers kind of all that talks about the Sangha, which we would call fellowship, but talks about what why that's important. Why you might want to find a group to exercise with or meditate with are both different teachers and their styles and has a lot of very concrete, I call them your turn, exercises of your turn. Now it's your turn. I've talked about little instructions on how to do exactly that. And I tried to make it but let's start with something Very simple, like noticing the foot, and then moving it all the way up to working with thoughts, which can be very tricky, but can be an object of meditation and more complex. So I hope it's a book, you'd never want to set your public service for everyone. Because it's, it's a very secular take, I mean, I do mention names like the tartan some of you Buddhist sense, but I tried to make it very accessible to anyone, I'm not going to, you're not going to turn into anything other than a meditator. You can try the practices and kind of got my quirky,
Unknown Speaker 30:40
go to get coffee, we've got your quirky sense of humour, if your other books anything to go by this a sense of humour really appreciate,
Unknown Speaker 30:48
I think it gets the impression that you're gonna relate and really like it, or they're going to, who is this woman and other want to be in her mind, which is a good thing, it really is a good thing if you're, if you don't have a mind, like, but but this book, I tried to sort of tone that down a little bit so that it's much more accessible for
Unknown Speaker 31:22
anyone that is suffering from mental health problems, please don't feel like you're alone to please reach out and, and get the help that you need some new data. If people want to contact your there's anything they need. From your website, please, could you please give us a little bit of detail about what you have on your website and how people can reach out to you?
Unknown Speaker 31:44
Yes, my website is Negus one.com. And I t s w e n ey.com. And I also have a I don't call it a newsletter, because it's a little more than that. But every so often, once a month, twice a month, every other month, it's very random. I publish a little newsletter. And if you go on my website, there's our free ebook called Three ways to steal your mind, which is my summary of their citizens. So you can either download that and then you wind up on my little email list or on it straight away without the book if you don't want it. Well, that's all there. And then you can buy my books on that site. You can see events I have coming up, which I'm not sure I have anything right now. We've had a flurry of zoom things. And now we're sort of trying to figure out okay, we it's always still on Zoom, are we I don't know why I haven't really settled too much. I have previous podcasts I've done on articles, I've written all that kind of stuff. So then he gets when he got calm. And please download the free ebook, because I think
Unknown Speaker 32:59
that's lovely, what a lovely gift of free free book listeners to do go to metres websites will pick up your free copy of her book, which explains what we've been talking about. And in more depth, I would like to ask you, sir, is there anything else that you would like to share with that audience?
Unknown Speaker 33:15
Well, I always like to remind people that this moment is usually not, sometimes it is. But even in the midst of horrible, horrible things, there's usually a tiny bit of calm. It can be hard to send a sounds something. And so as much as you can just try to drop in this moment, even just once. And somehow, just in that moment, I know that I'm thinking of you right now, I wish I wish I could write a passage.
Unknown Speaker 34:03
Very, very beautiful and very wise words. This has been an absolute honour to have you on the show today. And do stay tuned listeners, because it's always been meditation inspired by conversation, nice to keep doing the work that you're doing, and you're such a gift to the world. And it's been such a pleasure to speak to such an accomplished writer today and I'm looking forward to your meditation book. So thank you, Anita, thank you for being on the show.
Unknown Speaker 34:30
Thank you so much for the great conversation and honour.
Unknown Speaker 34:37
As promised, here is your meditation. Inspired by today's show. Top Tips for the meditation is either sit nice and cross legged on the floor of a nice straight back. Always nice to sit on a block or a cushion, or that's not available for you. You sit in a chair with a back nice and straight. The important thing is you're not slouching. I And if you're doing something that requires you concentration, all you need to do is just pause this and you can reconvene the meditation at a time that is good for you, if you're doing the meditation that's begging. So today's meditation is going to be a very simple but effective anxiety crushing meditation. So anxiety can be worrying about things or fearing things that haven't happened or what we're projecting may happen. So instead, we're going to learn to tap into the present moment. And it's a very simple tool, but yet effective. So you inhale, you feel as if the lungs expand. And as you exhale, you feel as if the lungs come in. But you're finding those precious, magical moments of calm within all this. And that comes from a deeper, more present connection with the breath. So as you inhale, everything expands. And as you exhale, everything comes in a bit like the tide in the ocean. So inhalation is nice, long, slow and calm, like on a seamless day. And exhalation is nice, slow and calm. So the movement of the breath out, the movement of the breath in, there's nothing else for you to do, but focus on the breathing right now. With a sense of presence and ease. And as the mind tries to entice you into thinking about, maybe something you did in the past, or something which you would like to do in the future, or even something that you're worried about in the future. It's just just think to yourself, just for a moment, these are thoughts. The present moment right now is me connecting with the breath, I will allow these thoughts to be but I am unaffected, in a sense that I am now connected with the present moment. And you continue just listening to the breath. And then each time the breath goes off somewhere, you just come back to that thought of I am breathing. I am breathing. I am breathing. So you might say well by saying that you're thinking but you're having your mind on a single point of focus. And by kind of coming back to something that we do automatically, like the breath. We're kind of learning to be more in the present moment because we're observing it with a sense of calm, sense of peace. And just by being still just for a little bit longer. Hopefully, that's brought you a sense of calm
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Nita Sweeney has earned a reputation for vulnerability and authenticity. She shares honestly and openly about her mental health journey and the tips and tools she has learned to help her "stay on the planet."
Nita Sweeney is the award-winning wellness author of the running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink and co-creator of the writing journal, You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving.