I am excited to present my interview with Mari L. McCarthy!
Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of CreateWriteNow, home of the Journaling for the Self of It™ community. Mari offers guidance, counseling and encouragement to writerthrough her many journaling eBooks, her Journaling Challenges and in private Journaling Jumpstart consultations. She lives in an oceanfront home south of Boston where she raises roses and consciousness.
1) How did you get started journaling?
In 1998, I had a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) flare-up and I lost most of my body’s right side feeling and function. My other MS episodes were short lived (4- 6 weeks) but I sensed that this was a biggie and that I had to find a procedure (I was an experienced left- brainer) to teach myself how to write with my left hand. Doing research, I came across Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way and started doing Morning Pages: 3 handwritten stream-of-consciousness pages of writing first thing each morning. Not only was it physical therapy, it was psychotherapy and a pathway to my spirit and my soul.
2) What do you gain out of your journaling today?
I gain creative ideas for problem solving, goal setting, adjusting my attitudes, and changing my internal and external behavior. My journaling helps me discover more about myself and improve my relationship with Me. It helps me be a better writer. It’s right here beside me helping me do the best job I can in writing answers to your questions!
3) How can journaling bring about positive changes in your life?
By putting pen to page every day, Journaling helps us work through and discard all the erroneous, negative, overly self-critical messages that we’ve been carrying around in our bodies since childhood. Through journaling, we reconnect with our true Self; rediscover our power, intelligence, beauty, and all the talents we came into this world with. We work on converting our self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings into self-loving behaviors. We become more confident in communicating our wants and achieving successful outcomes in dealing with others.
4) How can journaling help a writer become better at their craft?
Journaling helps a writer personally and professionally. It helps writers determine the causes of writer’s block, page fright, inner critic activities and other writer diseases so they can get to their pages easily and on time. It’s great for helping writer’s determine and stick to their own writing style and process. Our Journal is our 24/7 Writing Coach. In Journaling routinely, we are sending a message to the universe about our needs so that the universe can provide us with resources to meet our writing project deadlines.
5) What’s the best way to start a journaling routine?
Whatever way feels best to you. Journaling is about feelings, self-expression, creativity and imagination not about thinking (or over thinking which we are so good at!). My best suggestion is to grab or buy a comfortable pen and notebook (I use Bic ultimates pens and Staples one subject notebooks) and ask your Journal a question like, “What’s the best way for me to start my journaling routine?” or “How do I start?” or whatever words feel right to you. Then write, write, write, fast. You might find your answers at our website on the How to Start a Journal page or at our Personal Journal Blog by entering a phrase in the search box there.
6) How much journaling is enough to see results?
The key to seeing results is not quantity but continuity: daily journal writing at the same place at the same time. It gives a message to your being that Journaling is part of your daily health routine as natural and normal as brushing your teeth.
7) What advice would you give to an aspiring author? An established author?
Use your journal to help you with your writing arts and crafts challenges. At our website, authors can download a Free Cure Writer’s Block with Your Journal eBook.
8) What other creative outlets do you enjoy?
Singing. Through journaling, I rediscovered my passion for music and that I always wanted to sing. Within weeks of writing down my singing goal, I read about a local music school that accepted adult students. The first time I appeared on stage, it was better than heaven. I’m currently preparing my first solo concert coming up in June.
You can hear our company song, “All the Time” here.
9) What’s next in your life?
I’m working (with my Journal of course) on updating my website which will now be known as CreateWriteNow: The Journaling Center. I’m creating some new eBooks and journaling challenges. My personal priority is working with my Journal on overcoming my physical challenges and achieving optimal health.
10) What’s your favorite dessert?
Anything dark, dark, dark chocolate, with mud pie topping my list.
Thank you, Mari! I enjoyed this very much and am looking forward to doing more journaling with you in the September 27 Day Journaling Challenge!