Here we have Audrey Snyder, an indie who’s from my home state’s backyard, Pittsburgh.We are celebrating the release of her memoir, Worth the Climb. Today she tells us how meditating helps her writing and then she gives you an opportunity to win her book.Let’s get started.
For forty years I was a technical writer. It took me ten years to complete my first non-fiction book, a memoir. But when I decided to write my second book as fiction and in less time, I was unable to even begin writing. Desperate to find some way that would help me write again, I frantically researched. It was there that I discovered the Mindful Writers Group. I did not know what to expect from the group but had a strong inclination that if I joined, I would overcome my writing block.
For me, reading is a great stimulant for ideas. I read voraciously to decide on a subject to write about. Once I decided on the topic, I read as many books that were similar to my topic as I could.
Equipped with a topic, I went to my first meeting of the Mindful Writers Group. Today, as I reflect on my first session of following the Writing Meditation Method, I wish I had learned it sooner. That first morning as I meditated and wrote in my journal, I examined my thoughts and feelings. This was followed by several hours of writing my first draft.
Each week at our meetings, I wrote with such passion that I didn’t even know I had. The Meditation Method allowed me to clear away any negative energy that had a deeper effect on me than I had realized. Fifteen minutes of Mindful Meditation and journaling helped me to reflect and write freely. The practices seemed to give me permission to honestly write what was on my heart and mind. It unlocked a door of pent up feelings of joy, sorrow, happiness, fear, doubt and guilt.
At one of the sessions, during the fifteen minutes of journaling , I was able to put my feelings in a letter to a friend who had been estranged from me for years. Here is an excerpt:
“When I awake from my dreams I almost feel guilty that I am so happy.
I wonder why I deserve this happiness. What did I do to deserve it?
We travelled the same path, the two of us. How could our lives be so
far apart now? What or who decided which path we should choose?
Why do you blame me for my happiness? Why the anger? Why the
Jealously? I want you to be as happy as I am. You deserve to know you
have made a difference in my life. You are part of the reason I choose
the path I did. Now you have chosen to run away from here, from this
city, from this path. Will it be any better for you elsewhere? I hope so,
but I have my reservations. I have learned that the change
you seek has to come from within you. All this stuff you hold onto only
holds you back and blocks you.”
I was amazed at the sincerity of my emotions and the depth of my writing. I wondered how much of myself should I reveal? Should I hold back some for later? But, I kept writing until the bell sounded for us to stop. I had written with such intensity that my fingers felt cramped. I was so elated to complete the letter that I wanted to frame in and hang it in my office.
The practice of Writing Meditation Method has given me freedom to explore my innermost feelings and thoughts. Such feelings are authentic which makes them original. This method is a writer’s tool that is helping me understand myself. It teaches discipline to set short-term goals with realistic expectations.
I know my current writing is the result of the beginning of knowing myself. It is awareness about who I am. This awareness is leading me closer to my real self. It is the result of examining my thoughts and feelings that the Mindful Writers Group practices. The Method has shown me that there is a relationship between writing and meditation. It has shown me how I can fearlessly express my passion. It has shown me how to experience who I truly am. And most importantly, it has empowered me so that I can overcome obstacles placed ion my writing path.
About her memoir:
Raised by a grandmother who believed the only available professional jobs for a Black American women in the 1960’s were nursing and teaching. Audrey Snyder grew up feeling restricted in her own home. Audrey, however, had inherited the grit and determination of her great Cherokee grandmother, who had accomplished the impossible by traveling, unescorted over 1300 miles in a covered wagon filled with orphaned Cherokee children.
Worth the Climb tells Audrey’s remarkable story of struggle and success in corporate America. Leaving home at a young age, Audrey moved from secretary to prominent business success in the face of racism and discrimination. Throughout her 40- year struggle, Audrey pushed away anger, bitterness, and despair, clinging instead to excellence, perseverance, and the need to open doors for Black Americans who would follow.
Worth the Climb is a must read for anyone looking to move forward in spite of pitfalls and disappointments.
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Audrey Jane Snyder is retired after working in the corporate environment for 40+ years in the fields of human resource management and customer service. She has also been an independent consultant specializing in on-line web based training of interpersonal skills for first line managers. Audrey holds a BA in Business Communications and a Masters in Training and Development. Audrey is a member of Western Pennsylvania Initiative, Greater Pittsburgh Area Communications and National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. and PennWriters Inc., The Pittsburgh East Writer’s Group. Audrey has also served on the board of Family Resources, Inc. Audrey has spoken as an expert at Budget Financial Seminars and recently was Keynote Speaker on Courageous Leadership- Owning your Own Success at the National Black MBA Gala. Audrey is currently an Adjunct Professor at DeVry University.
Audrey was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, PA area lives with her husband of 44 years. She has two adult children and two grandchildren. This is her first book which one finalist position at the Pittsburgh Author Zone Awards.
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