Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Writing With Courage

AE_laura_davis1Laura Davis uncovers the magic of the memoir

Writing can be a powerful, healing tool. Laura Davis knows that to be true. She’s written a handful of popular non-fiction books on just that—finding the ‘courage to heal.’ And for Davis, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, the writing process itself was her own healing tool.

Her past, and her future, came into focus around the same time—as a child, and then again as an adult. “I’ve been writing since I was a little girl as a means for self-expression, what I thought, felt, and believed, as a way to educate and inform, and provoke,” says Davis, a longtime Santa Cruz author, who teaches writing classes in town. “Writing has been a critical way I’ve processed with my life and coped with my life.” This has included blogging when she was ill with cancer recently, to writing seven books with topics ranging from sexual abuse to parenting to reconciling relationships.

During the weekend of March 19-21, Davis will be holding a memoir writing workshop at the Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel. The weekend is called, “From Memory to Memoir,” and will offer teaching and coaching on how to do exactly that—write your memoir, as well as extensive time dedicated to actual writing.

“Everyone’s life has value and there’s a beauty and mystery, intrigue and drama, in everyone’s life, and even the most daily stories deserve to be told,” Davis says. “… It’s the most difficult things in life that help us grow.”

Interestingly, though, the avid writer has never actually written her own memoir. However, pieces of her life story are told throughout each book she has written.

Her most notable book is, “The Courage to Heal,” which was co-written with another local author, Ellen Bass. Davis met Bass 30 years ago, during her first weekend in town, when she picked up a flier and discovered that Bass was teaching writing classes, which Davis enrolled in. About five years later, Davis approached Bass about co-authoring the aforementioned book. It was timely. This was around the same time that Davis began remembering that her grandfather had molested her when she was a child. “My writing career has very much tracked different periods of my life,” she says. “Sexual abuse, becoming a parent, writing about estrangement, and blogging about cancer; whatever’s at the core of my life.” Altogether, her seven books have sold about 2 million copies.

“The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse,” covers an array of topics that relate to women in this situation, including healing stages, grieving, forgiveness, self-esteem, sexuality, parenting and more. Another book that Bass and Davis wrote together is, “Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children,” which offers just that—a look at abuse, and the beginning steps to recover from it.

Some of Davis’ other works are “I Thought We’d Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation,” “Allies in Healing,” and “The Courage to Heal Workbook.”

Nowadays, Davis has become something of a frequent blogger (lauradavis.net/blog). The allure of blogging began when the writer was confronted with breast cancer two-and-a-half years ago. “I wrote my way through cancer,” she says. “All of my responsibilities as a parent, partner, bread winner, worker, were all lifted off my shoulders, so I was able to look at life from a very different perspective. It was a kind of spiritual awakening and I had clarity about what’s important in life.”

She currently teaches several writing classes to writers of all levels (visit lauradavis.net). She also offers a free monthly writing class at Gateways Bookstore. And in addition, she hosts writing retreats, like the upcoming retreat at Land of Medicine Buddha. The cost for this workshop is $500-$630, depending on lodging options. “It will give them (writers) a sense of direction and renew their sense of purpose, as well as give them some tools for how to write about things they may not fully remember,” Davis says. “We also deal with some of the ethical questions of memoir writing, and writing about people who are still alive. … There’s something incredibly powerful about working in a community of writers, rather than sitting home alone writing. When one person in a writing group shares their story, they create space for other people to share theirs.”

And that is exactly what Davis has been doing for the last 25 years—telling her stories, and creating a space for others to tell their stories.

 


For more information on writing workshops, and retreats including Memory to Memoirs in Santa Cruz, visit lauradavis.net.
Comments (1)Add Comment
a great coach!
written by William, March 04, 2010
I have been to several Laura Davis seminars and found them to be valuable. She has a knack for pulling creativity out you didn't know you had and teaching you the discipline necessary to turn it into something useful.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Designing Woman

Female gardener helps build Versailles in fun, if uneven, ‘A Little Chaos’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food