Meet Mari L. McCarthy

Mari L. McCarthy - CreateWriteNowOver the next few weeks, we will spotlight our 2014 Journaling Expo presenters in this blog, so you can get to know them a little better.

We begin with this year’s Journaling Expo sponsor, Mari L. McCarthy, personal journaling therapy specialist, singer, and mentor to journal writers around the globe.

Like other Expo presenters, Mari is truly serious about journaling as much more than a simple pastime. She advocates for journal writing as key to creating a better life. Here are her responses to a few questions recently posed.

Where did you spend your childhood and what are your happiest memories of your youth? Continue reading

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Writing from the Zero Point: Making Meaning through Spiritual Journaling

A Guest Post by Julie Tallard Johnson

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”  ­–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Writing From the Zero Point by Julie Tallard JohnsonWriting from the zero point means to write from our own experience while awakening our ability to make meaning from a diversity of situations. Spiritual Journaling allows every situation, positive or negative, to be workable. Our journals give us a place to explore and arrive at some meaning for ourselves.

We are each the zero point.

We can only discover the truth for ourselves by living life from our side (the zero point). In living life from your side you not only find lasting happiness and satisfaction, but personal awakening. And through this personal awakening we directly benefit all life on this planet. Continue reading

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Your Art Journal’s First Page–Five More Ideas to Fill the Blank Page

A guest post by Quinn McDonald

Postcard by Quinn McDonaldThat first blank page on your art journal is the emptiest page in the book. Before it starts to stare back at you and fill you with uncertainty, use one of these five ideas to fill the page with color and interest. Once that troublesome first journal page is filled, the rest of the journal becomes instantly more friendly.

Here are five more ideas for that first blank page:

1. Create a simple background, like bubble pages. Beautiful old books often have marbled paper end pages. You can create a lovely end page of your own by filling a shallow dish with a generous dollop of acrylic paint, a small squirt of dish soap, and enough water to create a mixture you can stick a straw in and blow bubbles into the mixture. This is messy, cover your worktable with newspaper. When the bubbles pile up over the shallow dish, press the first page down on the bubbles till they pop. The design is fun and colorful and completely random. Let go of control. It’s a good lesson. Continue reading

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What to Put on the First Page of Your Art Journal

A guest post by Quinn McDonald

Collage by Quinn McDonaldNew journals are exciting–the possibility, the fresh approach, the hope you will be as filled with opportunity as the journal is filled with pages. And then that clutch of fear: the. first. page.

Suddenly the possibility, joy, newness, excitement is filled with panic. Your inner perfectionist starts up on full volume. “Well, once you ruin the first page, the whole journal is ruined,” or, “Sure, go ahead and make a fool of yourself on page one.” It goes downhill from there.

Take a deep breath and stop worrying. Here are five suggestions of what to put on that first page. Even your inner perfectionist will love these. (Oh, and send the IP off to some area of the house that needs attention–the tub will do nicely. Or the laundry. A busy perfectionist is a quiet perfectionist.) Continue reading

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Recharge Your Personal Journal Batteries

Mari L. McCarthy - CreateWriteNowby Mari L. McCarthy, CreateWriteNow

Have you been falling behind on your daily journaling lately? Is your personal journal gathering dust and feeling neglected? Don’t worry – this happens to the best of us. Once you get out of the habit of journaling, you can forget how beneficial it is and how good it feels. Create Write Now is here to help you out of your journal writing funk. Here are seven different journaling prompts to get you back on track – one for each day of the week. After a week of journaling, you’ll be on a roll! Continue reading

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How Do You Stay Started?

by Nathan Ohren, Write4Life


One of the most common questions I answer in my journal-writing courses is “How can I keep consistent in my writing?”  In this special episode of JournalTalk, I share some material from my new, upcoming course, Getting Started, Staying Started; and I propose that today is the best time to consider your New Year’s Resolutions.

Rather than basing our goals on a twelve-o-clock wish without any plan or support, what if we take just a few minutes each day, starting now, to make a fresh start. Continue reading

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What is Reflective Practice?

by Lynda Monk, CreativeWellnessWorks

MrHicks46When I trained as a social worker, we were taught the importance of reflective practice – having some way of constantly reflecting, observing and noticing our own reactions, feelings, thoughts, etc. in response to our work which is often about serving the health and growth needs of others. Why reflective practice? Because this helps create self-awareness, emotional boundaries, burnout prevention, ongoing learning which in turn serves the greater good and the individual/social change work at hand. Continue reading

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Journaling for Less Stress

By Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC

Dave-FStress is a fact of life and not all stress is bad.  Ultimately, it is how we respond to stress that determines what affect it will have on our lives and health.  Stress in moderation is manageable.  However, chronic stress overtime is known to cause burnout and a wide range of negative effects on our overall emotional, physical and psychological health.  In other words, stress can make us sick.

Some people avoid dealing with stress and don’t really have any active stress management strategies in their lives.  This is known as an avoidant style of coping with stress.  Other people take an active role in managing the stress in their lives through healthy and effective stress management strategies such as talking it out, eating healthy, getting regular exercise and for some, regular journal writing. Continue reading

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Yoga and Journaling: Soul Mates

By Luisa Tanno

journaling and yogaAs a dance and yoga teacher I celebrate movement as a way to unleash creativity and offer us clear glimpses of ourselves.  It may well be my favorite thing about it.  While I honor the many physical benefits of yoga and am meticulous about alignment, I find the poses to be a means to an end.  The end (of course, there is really no end) is connection to the self and expression of the self.

The majority of my work as a yoga instructor is with individual clients, so I have the pleasure of really talking with students about their struggles, their dreams and what makes them light up in life.  One day I was working with a client who is an artist. She was lamenting her lack of time and energy for her own creative work amidst life, family and her commissioned artwork.  I had an idea and asked her to bring her sketchbook to our next session. Continue reading

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Raw Art Journaling Q & A with Author Quinn McDonald

What do you mean by “Raw Art?”

Raw Art Journaling book coverRaw art journaling is the deep-rooted, authentic heart work you bring to your journal. Raw art is what heals and restores, and requires only an open mind and heart, not a pile of equipment or years of talent. It can be drawing, painting, sewing, photography, or choreography, even cooking. Any creative work. 

What inspired you to create the ‘Raw Art Journaling’ process?

Some years ago, I was sitting in an outdoor cafe, enjoying the afternoon. The day was sunny and mild, and the setting beautiful. Continue reading

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