Shania Twain has written an open letter to fans, apologizing for her delay in releasing new music. She explains that songwriting is driven by emotion ... and what an emotional year this country superstar has had.

"The personal issues that took place just over a year ago have been well documented, and there's no need to go into more detail here," Shania writes, loosely referring to her split with husband Mutt Lange and his alleged affair with one of her best friends. "Since then, I've been inspired by my pain to write and use writing as a therapy through the suffering. I truly wouldn't wish this on anybody as a means to get inspired, but it's been a productive period with so much emotion trying to find its way out. However, there is no telling how long it will take me to actually finish these songs so they can get out to you."

Shania goes on to say that healing has taken precedence over work. But her top priority remains her son, Eja, whom she is trying to protect from her family crisis.

"One time when I was having a weak moment, listening to some sad music and sobbing and slobbering over my computer's keyboard, Eja walked up behind me and asked me why I was crying," Shania writes of her 7-year-old son. "He wasn't sad at first -- just totally surprised to see his mom crying and didn't know what to make of it. During this intense period, I was managing to hide my devastation from Eja and cried only when I was alone; but this one time was just too hard for me to control and I broke down. I was quick on my feet to answer him though and told Eja that music was very powerful and can make people quite emotional. It can make you want to dance, feel angry, happy or sad and that THIS this song was sad and made me cry. He accepted this, hugged me and went back to what he was doing. Phew, that was tough!"

But Shania's world isn't all sadness these days. She assures fans that she is coping well, thanks to the help of Eja, her friends and family, and some spontaneous adventures.

"I've been experiencing and seeing new things every day, living life with a different and more optimistic attitude," she assures. "I've jumped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, I'm riding Spanish and Arabian horses, traveling to exotic places, I've been deep sea diving for the first time! I pull the odd all-nighter, read more books, listen to Eja's favorite music with him, LOUD [ironically his favorite band is AC/DC], and basically I'm enjoying life."

Shania asks fans for their patience on a new album and promises it will be worth the wait.

"Time has a way of making everything right, and it is my hope that good music will eventually come out of it," she writes. "I say 'good music' since I don't want to just throw anything at you, just for the sake of hurrying up to get it out. I want my new music to be something I'm personally satisfied with and proud to share with you."

Shania goes on to further thank her fans for their support, and even hints at some possible future tour dates. You can read her entire heartfelt letter here.

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