Interview with Mari L. McCarthy

Talking to another writer who journals is always interesting. It’s like running into a friend with whom you went to school with, but who was in another homeroom–you share a lot of the same information, but experienced it in different ways.  Mari is over at CreateWriteNow, and when I heard she had an ebook coming out, I had to ask her about it. The ebook, enticingly called Who Are You? How To Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

I invited Mari over here for an interview, and she was kind enough to virtually drop by for a chat about her book.

Q: What made you decide to write Who Are You?

Mari: Each quarter, I choose a Journaling benefit to focus on and create an eBook around it.  The focus the first quarter of 2011 was on Journaling for Self-Discovery and Personal Growth. I collected and organized my blog posts and my published articles and with the help of my most excellent Writing Virtual Assistant, Mary, created WAY. It shows people how to use this free therapeutic tool to explore their inner world and to understand and change, if they choose, the way they’ve always thought, felt and behaved.

Q: Why did you choose an eBook format? (instead of a paper publisher)

Mari:Looking at the sales figures of other books I’d done (each published in both formats), people preferred eBooks 4-1 over hardbound books.  Profit margins are better too.

Q: How did you get involved with journaling?

Mari: I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to thank for leading me to journal writing. One February about 13 years ago, I lost the feeling on the right side of my body. I needed a procedure for teaching my left hand how to write and a woman introduced me to Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages”.  I thought it was just a left-brain exercise. Wrong. It was therapy. In a short period of time, I started remembering my childhood, started writing poetry, started discarding mental and emotional baggage and started to heal my psychophysical wounds.

Q:*The title is too tempting–Who are you? How did you choose it.

Mari: I had the ‘How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life’ part of the title using my keyword ‘Journaling Therapy’ and I needed an attention grabbing intro. I posed the question to my Journal, “What’s the real title of this eBook supposed to be?” and sure enough one day in a journal writing session, the title just showed up.

Q: How did you discover yourself?

Mari: Through journaling every day. Writing, writing, writing fast helps me dump the stress, strain and unhealthy messages I’d been carrying since childhood. By keeping this daily practice, it clears space for my healthy energy and my true self to come out and play.  Journaling piqued my curiosity and I couldn’t wait to get to my Journal and learn more about me, myself and I. And the discoveries continue….

Q:Why is it important to know your own life?

Mari: It brings freedom. We realize that we have a reason for being here and a responsibility to be and become our personal best. We see clearly all our possibilities and talents and accept that we control and create our destiny.

Q: Can people change their life through journaling?

Mari: Yes. Journaling helps people get out of living in their head, reconnects them with their body and realize that their brain has been controlling them, making them think that they are not capable, not talented, etc. Journaling guides them to their real self, the multitalented, positive, creative self that’s been inside them since birth.

Q: What do you mean by ‘growing’ your life?

Mari: Using the power, strengths and abilities that we discovered we have (thanks to Journaling). It means setting goals, planning your work to get your goals and working your plans. It means taking risks, taking action. Changing:  Putting “you” first, foremost and always number one. Taking care of your self first and then taking care of everyone else. Learning from the past, living in the present and leaning into our future.

Q: If you could give people just one journal prompt, what would it be?

Mari: Close your eyes and take several meaningful breaths. At the top of the page, write a question and write, write, write, write, write the answer.