- Freshman Year of College: Danger Zone for Mental Health
- Is "Next to Normal" Normal?
- Top Ten for College Freshman, ND talk scheduled on Sept 30th
- Struck by Living Top Ten for Mental Health
- Can an Obstacle Prevent Suicide?
- Convincing the Stubborn to Accept Mental Health Care
- Dr. Oz Ventures Bravely into ECT
- Mental Hygiene: Preventative Care for Mental Health
- Why does the Stigma of Mental Illness Persist
- Don't Omit from the Obit
- Struck By Living Top Six
- Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs: Truth from the Inside Out
- Purpose and Perspective: Critical Ingredients for Mental Health
- Innovation: An Antidote for Depression
- Brice Beaird's Song "Hold on to Me"
- Interview with American School of London Graduate Charlie Marsh
- Why? The Enigma for Those Left Behind from Suicide
- Blogs on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
- Bir Sur 21 Miler
- Walk for Hope Talk in Harrisonburg, VA/Trip To the University of Notre Dame
- Inspiration from the Pecos Wilderness
- Dump the Shame, not the Pills
- Introspection: A Key Ingredient for Mental Health
- The Necessary Glue for Wellness
- Becoming an Orphan
- A Positive Change with Nature's Help
- Why is the Teen/Young Adult Suicide Rate Increasing?
- Memory and ECT
- Dancing with Words in Decatur
- Flourishing with Help from Marty
- Don't let the Dragon Steal Christmas
- You're Just LIke Me
- The Prison of Independence
- Catch up on Events
- Spalding Gray: The Power of a Dandelion
- Book review done by GInny Sparrow
- Impressions of the American Association of Suicidology
- Headed to San Marcos to hear Thomas Joiner
- Next to Normal Take II
- Texas Suicide Prevention Conference in San Marcos
- Watching Out for the Gorilla
- Link to June Talk in 2010 at the Darien Public Library
- Two excellent articles recently in the NY Times
- Linehan Leads the Way for Honesty in Clinical Practice
- High Suicide Rates in Korea
- Beyond Winning
- Music as a Healing Instrument and Barometer
- Lawyers with Depression
- My Trip to Dr. Oz
- Know Yourself: A Message from Hildegard Von Bingen
- Hildegard: The First Encounter
- Think Pink: University of Notre Dame/NAMI Project Hope Walk
- TWU Inspires a Fresh Look at the Struck by Living Top Ten
- American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Out of Darkness Walk, Dallas 11-10-12
- Remembering Mom During the Holidays
- Blogs Regarding Gun Violence
- Aches and Gains Radio Show to feature me (Julie Hersh) this Saturday
- College Top Ten Revised
- Article Published in the Dallas Morning News
- Finding My Pace at Big Sur
- Phoenix House and CA Maternal Mental Health conference
Blog » Dancing with Words in Decatur
Dancing with Words in Decatur
Over Labor Day weekend I attended the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA. My friend Bruce Cohen, who I met at the Theater Communications Group conference this June in Chicago, kept expounding on the wonders of the festival. A book festival? Do people actually buy books this way? I figured there was one sure way to find out. I booked a trip to Atlanta.
The festival kicked off with a talk from Jonathan Frazen, reading from his new book Freedom. I went to the talk a bit downtrodden, after attending a workshop called “Saving the Blog” by an Atlanta columnist. After hearing what the columnist espoused as the new age writer, I was feeling all 50 of my 50 years. Blog every day for 30 days, then continue blogging at minimum three times a week, she advised. Facebook. Twitter. Meetup. A hip website. As I listened to her blather about her success, I wondered if anyone in the world still cares about content. Be specific as you can, she said. She pulled out a prime example of esteemed specificity with a Twitter account called “Shit my Dad says.” Apparently this twitter account has so many followers, the genius who wrote it has been asked to write a book. I wondered where my writing fit in this half-twit world.
Enter Franzen. Franzen hates Facebook, and took 9 years to write Freedom. I swooned. When asked about the impact of fame on his life he said - and I am paraphrasing “don’t get me wrong, fame is great, speaking in front of a packed house of readers is wonderful, but there is some part of me that would rather be playing tennis with my wife.” I refrained from throwing my bra on stage. I thought men like this died off in the last decade.
Good writers do still exist. Right now I’m reading Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale. Luscious words on the on the page. Words that take hours, thought and time. I want to write like Helprin, Franzen or Roth. Blogging be damned. I choose to blog when I actually have something worth saying as opposed to punching the blog clock to satisfy our ADHD world.
After the Decatur Book festival I met with Debbie Weiss – a blogger, but a thoughtful one. Debbie has a book club website and she wanted to interview me for her site. As opposed to some interviewers, Debbie had carefully read my book and had a thoughtful list of questions. She taped our conversation to make sure she got the facts right. She just posted her interview this week, check it out: http://www.womensbookreviews.com/authors/julie_hersh.htm.
Okay – so Debbie shows me that the internet is not all about one-upmanship and adults trying to outsmart each other with one liners like 13 year-olds. Thank you Debbie and thank you Decatur for bringing me Franzen. He made me want to drop the book tour, get back to my desk and write. I will. Soon.