Here’s my featured article post on The Writing Cooperative.
Write Now provides a glimpse into how different people write for a living. Today’s edition features Ilene Smith, author of Moving Beyond Trauma: The Roadmap to Healing from Your Past and Living with Ease and Vitality.
Who are you?
I am Ilene Smith. I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and a Certified Professional Coach (CPC). I hold master’s degree in mental health counseling and exercise physiology. I live in Scottsdale, Arizona.
What do you write?
I write about trauma healing and the importance of bringing the body into the process to restore our emotional, spiritual and physical health. I went back to school in my early 40’s to receive a master’s degree in mental health counseling and also completed a 3 year training program with the Trauma Healing Institute to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. After I lost my husband 4 years ago, I wanted to write about trauma healing and I have not stopped writing ever since. I felt there was a need to write quality information for the general public on trauma from a wholistic perspective. Most of the books I came across were geared towards professionals. My desire is to reach a larger audience beyond my private practice. There is no topic I wouldn’t touch on as long I am knowledgeable about it. As I heal, learn and grow there is always something new to write about. I love what I do because it gives me an opportunity to express myself and share my experiences with others in the hope that I can touch someone’s life and make a difference.
Where do you write?
I can write anywhere, as long as it is quiet. My favorite place to write is my living room, sitting in a beanbag in front of the fire…even when it is warm out.
When do you write?
A typical writing session is about 2 hours. My brain fires on all cylinders in the morning, so I tend to produce my best work between 6–9 am. Once I lose focus, I know it is time to get up and switch gears. I may squeeze another hour or so in later in the day if I feel motivated or have a deadline. I don’t set limits because my brain and body will give me clues that I am finished. Deadlines force discipline but I often wait until I cannot procrastinate any longer to get started. It is sort of a little head game I play with myself. I think I need the pressure for the creative energy to flow.
Why do you write?
I write because I love what I write about. I am a resource of information and source of hope for others. I write for those who are struggling with mental health issues to show that one can heal from their past and create a life with ease and vitality. What motivates me to write is the healing I see with my individual patients. Each story is unique yet, healing seems possible on so many levels. I am also inspired by my own personal and ongoing healing journey. I spent years struggling with eating disorders and anxiety and went through a very traumatic and devastating experience losing my husband suddenly. I am doing really-well and feel that I can be of great support, guidance and motivation for others to create an amazing life.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I have not experienced writers block, but I do find that my creative energy comes in waves. When it is not there, I try not to fight it. I know if I surrender and can relax into it, use my time wisely for other things such as reading and education, the inspiration and flow comes back with great velocity.
Bonus: What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
When I am not writing I love being in my kitchen with friends, practicing yoga and enjoying the outdoors.