Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Anne Lindblom Weil has done exactly that. When dealing with pregnancy loss, she searched for books and blogs that addressed grief in a thoughtful and faith-based way but couldn’t find what she needed. So she started her blog Mabbat. And recently she released her book A Psalmist’s Guide to Grief.
Anne is the August 2020 See Jane Write Member of the Month not only because she’s using writing to get through grief but because she’s also using her writing to help others get through grief of their own.
Read on to learn more about Anne, her book, and her blog.
Can you share with people what they can expect from your book?
My book, A Psalmists’s Guide to Grief, is a grief recovery tool using the Psalms as a template for journaling and processing the stages of grief. I share my story of coping with multiple pregnancy losses and how the emotions of grief and not dealing with them all well affected my walk with God, my relationships with others, and my mental health. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of grief and includes in-depth looks at Psalms that deal with that topic and creative journaling prompts to help you dig deeper and process your own journey.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was inspired to write the book because there was a complete lack of helpful and comforting Bible studies that dealt with miscarriage. Most of the resources I could find ignored the faith aspect that I needed, and the faith-based resources largely ignored mental health issues. The few books I managed to find were trite and lacked compassion, and I threatened to burn one of them. Ha!
I needed better help than I got, and I didn’t want anyone else to have to walk that road without better resources being available.
Tell us more about your blog and how you got started.
My blog started from a similar premise: I needed to hear and read stories of women who survived the pain I was dealing with, but there weren’t very many. I’m sure the early days of my blog violated the rule of not using your blog as therapy, but I’ve always tried to share the deeper lesson I felt in the moments I shared. I have always processed my life through writing, whether that’s journaling or poetry or fiction, so blogging was a natural outlet and a way to share my story with the world at large.
As a Christian, I feel like I’m supposed to be sharing the story of how God is working in my life, but as an introvert, that’s not always an easy public venture for me. As I’ve moved past the era of pregnancy loss, I’ve continued to struggle with depression, so Mabbat has morphed into more general mental health and creative Bible study topics.
Do you feel blogging helped you write a book?
Blogging definitely helped me write my book. In fact, one entire chapter and the introduction were pulled directly from previous blog posts and just expanded for the book. I think most of what I write from a nonfiction standpoint is pretty consistent; it makes it easy to use ideas I’ve started fleshing out on the blog and just build on them for bigger projects. It also makes bigger projects, like the book, feel like a natural extension of my blog writing.
Why did you join the See Jane Write Collective and what do you enjoy most about being a member?
I joined the See Jane Write Collective because I had been part of the See Jane Write Network Facebook Group for a while. I gained so much from that larger group that I wanted to invest in the Collective to gain more resources and a tighter community of writers. SJW really feels like my home on the web. The women in the Collective inspire me and encourage me to keep writing and developing as a writer and a person. The resources have helped me turn a therapy journal blog into a much more cohesive site with more thoughtful messaging and themes than I had before. I love the community and that the encouragement and acceptance I feel in the group online is the same at in-person gatherings of SJW members.
Who should be the next See Jane Write Member of the Month? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t be afraid to nominate yourself! Not a member? Apply to join here.