Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway!

It's guest post and giveaway time!

Today, Mari McCarthy has written a guest post for us!  If you have not visited Mari's website yet, CREATE WRITE NOW, to check out all the wonderful journaling ideas she offers, you can still do it.  You can also access her blog from there. 

This is Mari.  (The picture came from her website).

Five Journals You'll Relish Reading    
By Mari L. McCarthy

Amongst the many genres of writing, it may be reasonable to suggest that it is more fun to read a journal than any other kind of literature. Why? A journal is real, personal, and immediate. It's an explosive combination.

Stories that are real, of course, command our respect automatically. The closer to intimacy the story comes, the better for the reader. And a journal's present-moment orientation can't be beat for suspense.

Most journals are not read by anyone except their authors, we presume. But a few have been published and some have even become classics.

So what are some great examples of journaling? Here are my current suggestions.

1. Number One on your reading list should always be your own journal. I think journalers forget this aspect of the practice. It's vitally important to reflect on your writings by re-reading them and letting them inform your future entries.

2. Freedom Writers. In this true story, a recent college graduate takes on teaching English to at-risk high school students. Other educators wrote off her students as "unteachable," but Erin Gruwell knew better. She used journaling processes to involve her students not only in English literature but also in recounting their own experiences, especially the hardships and challenges they faced as inner city youth. They read The Diary of Anne Frank, and wrote about their own lives in a war zone, with drugs and violence as daily threats. The students of Room 203 named themselves the Freedom Writers, and published a book entitled The Freedom Writers Diary.

3. Bridget Jones' Diary. Based on a popular novel by Helen Fielding, this film chronicles a year in the life of a woman in her early thirties. Single, self-conscious, and seeking success both in her career and in her love life, Bridget begins her journal on New Year's Day, as a way of making a fresh start in her life. Following the journal, the movie reveals to us the many entertaining fiascos as well as important personal progress its heroine experiences as the year wears on.

4.  The Motorcycle Diaries. When he was 23 years old, Ernesto Guevara (later known as the Marxist revolutionary, Ché Guevara) kept a journal as he traveled across South America. The journal, which tells of his encounters with poverty and injustice as he crossed the continent, was published after his death and then made into this film.

5.  Eat, Pray, Love. Julia Roberts stars in this recent release based on novelist Elizabeth Gilbert's popular memoir. Still reeling from a painful divorce, Elizabeth goes on a trip of self-discovery to Italy, India, and Indonesia, writing copiously in her journal in each place. She battles her demons of depression, loneliness, and doubt to find her own path to happiness and love. Here's an excerpt, testifying to journaling's amazing transformative properties:  “I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.”

What published journals have inspired you?


By Mari L. McCarthy - The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Health of It™.  Please visit Mari's blog at http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/. In 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness (http://www.createwritenow.com/peace-of-mind-and-body---27-days-of-journaling-to-health--happiness/), Mari walks you through an easy process for accessing your natural inner strengths. Mari's latest publication is titled, Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life. See http://www.createwritenow.com/journaling-therapy-ebook/ for details.


Yesterday was my first day in Mari's book Peace of Mind & Body 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness.  Day 1 was about awareness and the assignment was to turn to a fresh page in your journal (this is a good way to start journaling if you don't already) and write at the top of the page:  "I am aware that..." then write your response until you feel that you have written all that you can/need to/etc.  This is the book that I am going to be giving away to a lucky winner!  You will have your choice between an ebook or a print copy!

All you have to do is leave a comment stating that you would like to enter the giveaway.  It's that simple.  I'll keep this going until Friday, midnight and announce the winner on Saturday!


Meanwhile, I'll be using my copy of the book for some self-discovery of my own and will share some of it with you along the way!


  1. Ok, I guess I'd like to win this, but I'm not really sure after reading your first journal entries. Not so sure I want to dig so deep into myself. Ignorance is bliss and all

    clemay62 at rocketmail dot com

  2. Cindy- I know just how you feel. I've finally gotten to the place where I feel that I can do this...but I'm still not sharing everything. The deep, dark secrets are staying deep and dark.

  3. My hand is up and I am jumping. Can you see me? I would like to win this book.

  4. Thanks for hosting me! Excited to hear about your first day adventures! Journaling is the scariest and most rewarding thing you'll ever do for yourself. I guarantee that if you make it a part of your daily health routine, you'll discover that who you think you are and who you really are are universes apart! Free therapy indeed. WriteON!

  5. Mari- I'm so glad that I'm doing this! I have had some of this in my head for a while but, seeing it on paper gives it a whole new meaning--more real, if you will. I will post about my second day on Thursday!

  6. Hi, I'm Patti, and an avid journaler. I'm always looking for new ways to get the most out of this practice, so I'd like to enter your giveaway. My e-mail is pbagadion@gmail.com.

  7. Patti- Hi! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I journal every night but thought this would help me get 'deeper' so to speak...and it is doing just that!

  8. Please include me in your drawing Pam. Like Cindy I'm not positive i want to know what's down there so deep but then again it's time for soul searching and learning.
    I am reading Eat, Pray, Love and haven't watched the movie yet (I did DVR it though). It is a great book.
    Thanks for this great meeting. Take care and God Bless!!

  9. Julie- I just watched the movie last week and liked it even though I'm not a huge Julia Roberts fan. It's interesting to explore oneself as well as a bit scary but it does bring a feeling of liberation with it too.

  10. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Me please, please, please, please, please, please.

    See? You can tell I need HELP :O)


  11. Jane- I see you! And I'm laughing like the nut case I am....LOL


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

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