Heartsease: A Writer’s Vision

November 29, 2011 | By | 16 Replies More

Author Gill Wyatt

Over the years I’ve found all sorts of ways to overcome my inclination towards chaos in my writing, but none worked as well as the day I started working to a vision.

I began writing in my early twenties as a form of catharsis, although I’m not sure I was really aware of it at the time, I just talked to my journal. I continued all through the years of bringing up four children. I have many volumes and I definitely wouldn’t want them published.

I also started writing a novel, ‘Chasing the Wind,’ and this time I was aware that my own heart was healing as I poured out my soul onto the pages. In time, I forgot about the book.

When a miscarriage hit me really badly, I wrote a poem. I took it with me to a writers’ workshop and showed it to a woman who was a miscarriage support counsellor. She asked me for a copy to share with others who had suffered a miscarriage and I began to realise that my words could heal other people’s hearts too. I got my novel out and began to work on it again.

My mind often has to be stilled before it is free to think and create. One day, I was lying on a beach in sunny Cyprus, which is always a place of inspiration for me. I was thinking, reflecting and praying when the word Heartsease came into my head. For me Heartsease is a beautiful word, feminine because it is the name of a flower and heart-healing, not only because of the parts that make up the word, but also because at one time the flower was used to heal heart conditions.

Heartsease encompassed all that I wanted to do in writing and suddenly I had a vision. I wanted a strap-line to go with it and I toyed with lots of expressions until I finally came up with, ‘Healing the heart with words of comfort and life’. The word Heartsease had come by inspiration but the strap-line took time and effort.

My husband and I spent a romantic Valentines evening, in a restaurant, designing the logo for the website. As an ex-nurse, the idea of a flat-line ECG trace with the word heartsease in the middle, leading to normal sinus rhythm, death to life, seemed a good idea so now I had a logo. My husband set up the website with help from both my son and my son-in-law and I set to work on the content.

Having a vision pulled everything together for me. I still feel my own heart heal as I write poems about Betrayal, Forgiveness or the effect of Bitter Words. As I write that sort of poem, I go through the stages of the healing process; from anger to grief, leading to acceptance, forgiveness and ultimately healing. My hope is that I can lead my reader with me on their own journey through healing to life.

Chasing the Wind by Gill Wyatt

My heart often stays unhealed because I cannot recognize the truth about myself. In my first book, my main character, Bobby, has to come to a place of acknowledging that he is not only abused, but could easily become the abuser because he harbours anger towards his father. That surprised me and caused me to look at unresolved anger in my own life. The book shows clearly what Bobby could change about his life but recognizes that there are things over which he had no power. My aim is that the reader sympathises with him, identifies with him and then grows with him as the story progresses.

M.Scott-Peck, in The Road Less Travelled said, ‘Mental Health is a commitment to reality at any cost.’ A novel has the capacity to hold up a mirror to our hearts and allow us to see the truth about ourselves in a way which is non-threatening.

Setting out my vision has helped to focus my writing. When I have too many ideas and not enough time, I ask myself, ‘Is this in line with my vision?’ Every writer’s vision will be different, but for me it is about healing the heart.

‘Chasing the Wind’, will be available as an e-book in early 2012.

Follow me on twitter at @Gill_Wyatt
‘Like’ my Heartease Facebook Page
Subscribe to my blog at www.heartsease.org.uk/blog

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Category: British Women Writers, Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing

Comments (16)

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  1. Wise words Gill. My problem is that I flit between writing genres, topics, fiction and non-fiction, and so on. I also capture moments in my life in my writing, although I am not disciplined enough to write a diary, and I help other people with their writing.

    I should really take more time to reflect on what I really want to do with my writing – is there any room on that Cypriot beach? I can bring my own towel!

    I too love the Heartsease flower, and at one time we grew a lot in our garden. They are the perfect symbol for what you want to achieve.

    • Gill Wyatt says:

      Plenty of room on the beach, Sue. I also have a friend with a small cottage in Woolacombe, which I rent on my own from time to time in order to give the writing a boost. Then all I have to fight is the urge to put the television on. I guess there will always be something to distract us.
      It seems to me that being able to flit between genres is a gift in itself, as is helping others.

  2. Gill, I really relate to this, having had two miscarriages myself, I know just how hard it can be. I think writing is wonderful for healing. It’s certainly replenished my soul. I can’t wait to read Chasing the Wind. Thank you for sharing your writing vision.

  3. Sue Cross says:

    This is a heart warming account of your writing experience and one to which to which I can relate. The first rung of the ladder started as a simple journal entry which then stepped up to a poem, a short story perhaps and eventually a novel. I too have found writing to be cathartic and marvel at God’s unseen hand guiding me as I pour my heart out on the page. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and may hearts continue to be healed as they read your work.

    Sue Cross (Author – Tea at Sam’s)

  4. How lovely to read your story. I too starting writing from a need to express myself, to ‘talk’ about things that I couldn’t articulate. Poetry is a good medium for this isn’t it? I also wrote a novel, a bit like your ‘Chasing the Wind’ which was an outpouring of what I was feeling and needed to say – a journey in a way. I think you are right – words can heal – they can heal both the writer and the reader. A lovely post!

    • Gill Wyatt says:

      Thank you Abi. Yes I agree. Poetry makes me think about things from every perspective as I look for the right words and phrases. The music in poetry can feel soothing too.

  5. Vikki Blundell says:

    Thanks for sharing so honestly Gill – it’s always inspiring to hear other people’s journeys and how they have arrived where they are today.

    I can really relate to the ‘inclination towards chaos’ in my writing – both in content and in my approach in general! My creative flow tends to reveal itself at strange times of the day (or more commonly, the night!), making it hard to set aside a specific writing time within the day. After having worked against this for many years, I have finally embraced this and tried to re-arrange my day to fit in the writing rather than the writing to fit into my day.

    However, when it comes to content, I definitely tend towards the chaotic! As a song-writer, I am constantly having new ideas. Turning these ideas into complete and finished songs takes discipline, focus and hard work – none of which come all that naturally!!

    Perhaps a specific focus and vision would help! This is definitely something I shall be spending some time mulling over and seeing how best to relate back to how I work and what I do!

    Thank you very much!

    • Gill Wyatt says:

      Thank you for your comments Vikki. I relate to the night time inspiration. I get so frustrated with it at times because I really don’t want to get out from under the duvet and write but if I try to remember my thoughts the next day, they are gone. Writing down a few notes helps but for the best results I just have to get up and do it. Good luck with the song writing.

  6. J Elliott says:

    Another excellent short article from Gill; crystal clear and gently flowing with some useful ideas to inspire writers and readers alike. Thank you Gill!

  7. This was wonderful to read – inspiring.

    I can relate to the impulse to come to terms with loss and difficulty through the healing process of writing – but then to turn that experience, again through writing, into a positive force that can help others. I still have the poem I wrote after my first miscarriage; it is raw and angry – and demanding to have that, often unanswerable question “Why?” answered. Mercifully, writing heals, firstly the writer – and then the reader, through the sharing of experience, through empathy.

    The conscious quest for a vision, a “mission statement” and a “logo” are what I feel has been missing from my own writing and, having read about the clarity this has brought to Gill’s writing, I feel led to set about gaining that kind of insight and clarity about what I am aiming to achieve through my work, and thereby finding a “brand” for it.

    I love the idea of the heartsease. It was a favourite flower of my father, who grew up near the little village of Heartsease in Radnorshire. A few years ago, not long after my father died, I found myself on a transatlantic flight, feeling a little alone and vulnerable. The flight attendant brought me a carton of water and I almost laughed aloud – with recognition and joy – as I read the label: the water came from a spring, and was packaged, at that very village of Heartsease. Immediately, I felt my own heart still, as I was assured that I was not alone, and I was not vulnerable. I felt blessed. So, for me, Heartsease has a personal and profound meaning and I wish Gill great joy and success in the words she writes from her vision to heal the human heart. Her caring and kindness shine through her words.

  8. Gill, Thank you so much for writing about what writing has done for you and meant for you. I enjoyed reading how your vision arose – it’s a very sweet story.

    Post the link to your ebook here when you get it, and we’ll add it to your post. – Anora, Editor

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