[Rodney M. Bliss] In your blog you are very open about your challenges with depression and mental health. How has writing helped your journey to recovery, and do you ever worry about how people might react to your story?
[Amy Jorgensen] Writing was and is essential to my recovery. Without writing I wouldn’t have been able to see and comprehend that I needed help in the first place. In addition to it pushing me to get help and be self-aware about my mental health status, writing in my journal was my lifeline in processing emotions and implementing the new tools I was learning at therapy. Unfortunately, my progress was stalled by a crushing shame I felt about being diagnosed with depression. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was embarrassed about every facet of what I was going through and without ridding myself of that shame I would have never progressed in my healing process.
Shame loves to hide, so I started a blog and used a mix of creative writing and blogging to tell the world about what I was going through all mixed with a bit of hope for change and peace. Simply writing finished blog posts helped me process and look for lessons and opportunities to practice peaceful living, knowing people would read it helped me rid myself of shame, and most surprisingly to me: I found out I wasn’t alone in how I felt or what I was facing.
I do worry about how people will react to my story, not because I’m ashamed of it, I am very proud of not only the story itself but what it represents. I think I worry mostly because it is the most personal piece I’ve ever shared, cracking yourself open and showing your soul is hard, vulnerability is hard. But as I’ve found through blogging, vulnerability also brings the best rewards.
[RMB] What types of writing do you prefer? If you had a chance to spend a weekend on a personal writer’s retreat, what genre or format do you think you’d create?
[AJ] I love fiction that has lots of symbolism in it and I love memoirs. If I had a chance to spend a weekend on a writing retreat I think I would create a work of fiction with a little romance and a lot of self-discovery all drizzled with symbolism.
[RMB] Many of your blog entries center around your family. Personal stories don’t always follow a literary flow. Do you find it’s easier to write about the sometimes random goings on of family, or do you prefer a more structured format?
[AJ] I definitely find it easier to write about life’s random events while trying to find purpose and lessons in them. I have been journaling since I was a little girl, so I think writing about life is just a natural thing for me now. Although blogging is easier, I actually prefer a more structured format because I like the challenge and take more pride in the outcome.
[RMB] Without giving anything away, what can you tell us about the story you have in Miscellany Volume II?
[AJ] Of Wind and Waves is a story about a woman in her darkest hour, but what she finds there is more beautiful than anything she could have ever imagined, she finds herself.
[RMB] What does the future have in store for your writing?
[AJ] In the future I hope to continue to blog and share life and empathy with incredible people. I also hope to publish a novel or two and a memoir in addition to growing my writing abilities with short stories and creative essays.
You can read Amy Jorgensen’s Blog My Peace Project here.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Pre-order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here
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