What are my treasures in life
I collect my treasures
I have written four books - two of them are Spiegel bestsellers, one of the annual bestsellers in Austria, a total of more than 300,000 copies are in the German-speaking area - and have also been sold in Korea, Japan, Poland, Italy and other countries.
How did that come about? Am I one of those who can "do it" easily? One of those who always wanted to be a writer? One of those who write all the time?
No, I didn't "always like to write".
And today I write: gladly, but not every day. Good, but (thank goodness) not perfect. For readers, but also and above all for myself - scrawly, exuberant, in key words, with colored pencils, cheap ballpoint pens and a favorite fountain pen.
As a kid, I loved writing. For example, I wrote letters to my stuffed dog Wuff-Schnuff ("Lipawuffschnuffwigetsdirmirgetsgut".) Or poems in which "good" rhymed with "courage", "tree" with "dream" and "spirit" with "black and white". I've been writing since I was three, with everything I could get my hands on. My favorite type of typewriter was the ball-head typewriter that my father gave me when I was six years old.
As a teenager I found diaries stupid (at least what I tried to write in them - pathetic song lyrics, effusions of worry and a lot of self-criticism). At school I had a German teacher who didn't like my style and a best friend who wanted to be a writer and who really wrote much better than me. So I decided to become a musician, I didn't have to write.
The first time I "really wrote" I didn't use pen and paper, but with guitar and voice. While working as a clown doctor, a colleague encouraged me to spontaneously write songs for the sick children we visited. My first improvised song was about a wildebeest, and it turned out surprisingly long and fun. Impromptu songwriting became my clown specialty.
Having grown courageous, I began to arrange and compose songs for my a cappella group Quempas and also write the lyrics for them.
The fun writing and songwriting could have gone on forever and would have been enough for me if a drastic break in my life hadn't forced me to new experiences and to expand my possibilities. In 2008, my husband and two young children were killed in a car accident.
I wrote to keep myself alive. I wrote to save my life. And I continued to write, finally even a book ("Four minus three") that encouraged not only me, but now more than 200,000 people to see grief as something that belongs to life and ultimately also to being alive).
This first book became a bestseller, and so did the second ("Why you?"). I traveled around the country, gave readings and lectures - and was asked by many people if I also give courses.
No, I didn't want to give mourning courses - I wanted to mourn, but not to remain a mourner or a full-time mourning expert forever.
It quickly became clear to me what I wanted: teaching people what you can do with pen and paper. Recharge your batteries, turn difficult things into sources of strength, refine and protect memories, calm the chaos in your head. Have fun, fool around - still fool around, indulge in funny, useless nonsense anyway and precisely for that reason. And: write in order to be read, understood and heard by others.
Since 2010 I have been giving writing courses in educational establishments, seminar hotels and since 2017 also on the Internet.
In 2017 my book "Federleicht, the creative writing workshop. How the power of your words becomes vitality" was published.
The main focus of my work:
- Biographical-literary writing (writing with a view to publication)
- Diary impulses that make you happy
- Style through play
- A sense of community and group strengthening by writing and sharing stories together
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