The last couple of weeks have roller-coastered me. In the midst of twelve-hour days to get Labyrinth launched, I learned that a family-member had tested positive for coronavirus; another family-member, who is immune compromised, had been exposed. The schools closed, and my husband, a substitute teacher, suddenly had no job. And a dear friend passed away unexpectedly.

I think a lot of you are in the same place–heaving with uncertainty, days turned entirely different, watching the news with growing dread, grieving .

And then today I had conversations with two of the most important people of my life.

My husband said, “You are not writing. It’s been weeks. You are only doing business things and being anxious. You need to write. It will give you the peace you need to face the rest.”

And my 94-year-old mom, the one who started me as a writer at four by taking down my stories by dictation, and who all my life has had a pen and notebook in her hand, said, “You must write. And you must tell people that writing is healing.”

They’re right. They’re both right. And how ironic that I let go of my own writing while building a program to bring people back to their writing.

We need to be writing. Especially now. Especially in uncertain times. Writing is the touchstone that brings us back to our center.

The name Labyrinth for the writing academy came to me late, but it felt so right.

A labyrinth takes you, ultimately, to the center. And having reached that place of refreshment, it brings you back out, changed, to face the world.

But a labyrinth twists and turns back on itself, seeming to take you away from the center the moment you thought you were there.

A book project is like that, too. It can make you ready to scream and climb a shrubbery.

But if you can follow the twisting path, it will take you to the heart of your book.

The heart is where you find the heat;

it’s where the blood is;

it’s where you find the beat

that takes you out from the center

and back into the shattered world,

more whole than when you went in.

(Find out about Labyrinth here.)

What My Mom Told Me When I Had Stopped Writing