Tag Archives: journaling

Writing Letters to your Child (plus a book giveaway!)

Please welcome Steena Holmes, author of FINDING EMMA.  Steena shares the importance of writing letters to our children. Leave a comment or question for Steena today for a chance to win a pdf or mobi copy of her best selling book! (plus – a Carnival of PRIZES available! More info below the article…)

Letter Writing…To Your Child

guest post by Steena Holmes

There’s something to be said for sitting down and writing a letter, especially in today’s world when it’s so much easier to shoot off an email or send an e-card that can literally only take minutes to do. Writing a letter takes time. Time to compose your thoughts, to ensure what you really want to say gets written. Time to be honest with yourself.

I started to write letters to my children after shortly after my oldest daughter was born. I remember sitting in the in my chair one day while she was screaming in my arms and wondering where had I gone as a person. There I was, a new mom with no clue what to do. It shocked me. Once upon a time I always knew what to do, knew who I was and where I wanted to go. I was experiencing what most new mom’s go through – an identity crisis.

I went back to my roots as a teenager of figuring out who I was, by journaling. But, that journal soon grew into a book of letters for my daughter. I started to remember who I was a person and I watched myself grow as a woman and a mother through the words I wrote to her.

Three children later, I still carry on the process of writing letters to my daughters. I talk about goal setting and learning to be a stronger person. I tell them about my weaknesses and what steps I’m taking to overcome them. I share with them the love that is in my heart and what I see in theirs. I’m an open book in my letters to my daughters and its a process that I cherish.

Leave a comment for a chance to win this book!

This is something every mother can do. Whether it becomes a gift that you give them at their wedding or when their first child is born, or whether it’s a process that you share together (my middle daughter and I write letters back and forth in one of her journals weekly), it’s a process that, I believe, opens your heart up to being honest with who you are as a person and helps you to remember those goals and dreams you once held close. It also helps to teach our children to be honest with themselves, to never be afraid to look deep inside their hearts and deal with issues that are hard.

In my bestseller Finding Emma, I use the concept of writing letters with Peter. He keeps a diary for their kidnapped daughter, Emma. He writes down the words he’s too afraid to admit out loud and he’s even encouraged his other daughters, Hannah and Alexis, to do the same. There’s one touching scene when Megan finds out about this journal and reads it for herself. It opens her eyes to the man she married and makes her realize he’s not who she thought he was.

Have you ever written a letter to your child? If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to do so. And if you don’t have children, how about writing one to yourself? That might be even harder to do, like trying to get off a ferris wheel that never ends, but in the end, you’ll know it will be a letter full of honesty and truth.

Steena Holmes

Author of the new heart wrenching story “Finding Emma”, Steena is a woman who believes that ‘in the end, everything succumbs…to the passions of your heart’. Steena’s life revolves around her family, friends and fiction.

Come along with Emma on a scavenger hunt!
We’re going to the Carnival! At each stop along Steena’s tour there is a hidden word–something you would find at a fair or carnival. Find the word and enter it at the Scavenger Hunt page on Steena’s website
(http://www.steenaholmes.com/wow-scavenger-hunt/). Each entry is an extra ticket to win! Need more clues? Join us at the Carnival Board on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/steenah/summer-carnivals-childhood-memories/)
where we will post images of the clues. Join in the fun by leaving your own favorite carnival pics! Read about prizes and additional details on The Muffin.(http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2012/06/emmas-scavenger-hunt.html)

Prizes:

First Prize: Work with a Bestselling Author.

Our Grande Prize winner will help create a character for Steena Holmes’ next book!

 Second and Third Prize Winners will each receive a signed copy of Finding Emma and a special pewter angel figurine from The Missing Children’s Society of Canada, an organization dedicated to bringing children home.

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Filed under Advice, books, characters, emotion

Journal Write to Discover What You Know (plus a BIG Giveaway!)

Today, please welcome back, Mari McCarthy, as she talks about how to discover what we really know and spinning this into our writing. BUT, the BIG NEWS is…today, one lucky commenter will have their choice of THREE COOL PRIZES:

Giveaway: Winner’s Choice (either an eBook copy of Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul, a spiral-bound copy of Mari’s Most Musefull Journaling Tips, or a Dark Chocolate T-Shirt)

RULES: You must leave a comment or question after today’s post before midnight tonight! I will use Random.,org to select the winner, and the winner will then select their prize!

Option #1: ebook

Journal Write to Discover What You Know

 

“Write about what you know.” If you’re into writing, you’ve heard this a zillion times, and you believe it makes sense. After all, if you’ve always been rich, protected, and pampered, you’re probably not a good candidate to write about growing up in the ghetto. If you’re a cowboy, you probably don’t know much about high society manners. Sure, you can understand why it’s important to write about what you know.

 

So what exactly is that? What do you know well enough to write about it? Seems like such a simple question, but when you seriously examine it things get complicated, quickly.

 

For some (even me, many days) it’s challenging to come up with anything at all that you truly know. Other days, you may mistake raw experience for knowing, thinking that since you endured something, you then know it.

 

You might know what it is to lose a job, for instance, or to become a mother, but what do you know about those things that you would write about?  There’s knowing that is simple cognizance, and then there’s knowing that is worth sharing.

 

Here’s a key point: You Do Know Something Worth Sharing. Don’t ever believe you don’t. You may, however, find the search for that Something to be interminable. Hang in there. You will find it. Your whole life may be about the search. That’s okay; there are few more noble endeavors.

 

Want a shortcut to finding out more about your unique knowing? There actually is a way to speed up the progress of your expanding awareness. It’s called journaling.

Option #2 spiral book Museful TIps

 

When you keep a journal, you take the pause that refreshes, you slow down enough to contemplate, you give yourself a chance to put the pieces together and create something new. The result? Appreciation, inspiration, and a much better idea of “what you know.”

 

Establish and wholeheartedly commit to a practice of writing regularly. Journal for self-discovery, which means

  • Hand write in your notebook. A keyboard doesn’t yield the same direct self-perception that hand writing does.
  • Do a lot of stream-of-consciousness writing.
  • Be extra stern with your inner critic: this is one place that tyrant doesn’t belong.
  • Be faithful to the process and to yourself; be willing to grow; be willing to be surprised.
  • Ask your journal questions: Where am I going? Who am I? What do I want? What do I know? What don’t I know?

 

If all the introspection makes you dizzy, use a journaling prompt now and then and enjoy the revelations that kind of writing affords. Following an impartial lead can often lead to personal treasures, just as direct soul searching does. Keep your practice fresh and on its toes by mixing these two approaches.

 

Option #3 T-shirt

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Mari L. McCarthy, journaling therapy specialist and author, owns Create Write Now, a website dedicated to all things journaling. The site includes hundreds of journaling prompts, personal journaling stories, interviews, a blog, and many other resources. Mari has published nine books to date. For more on ways that journaling brings self-knowledge, see Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

CreateWriteNow.com
Twitter.com/CreateWriteNow
Facebook.com/JournalWritingTherapy

 

Don’t forget to Leave your comment!!

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Filed under Believe, books, Creative Essays, Give Aways, Inspiration

Are Old Fears Dragging You Down? (Guest post & Giveaway!)

Are Old Fears Dragging You Down?

Guest Post by Mari McCarthy (Don’t forget to enter the ebook giveaway @ bottom of post!)

It’s the human condition to experience fear every now and then. No one is entirely immune to it. Part of growing up is learning how to handle your fears.

A friend observed the other day that people seem to be inexplicably drawn to challenging situations, circumstances that will force us to change and grow. It’s easy to build a cozy cocoon of our daily routines, but the time for metamorphosis comes around sooner or later. And often, you find yourself facing the very thing you hoped to avoid forever.

Win this Book!

The challenges that beckon us can bring us face to face with old fears. It’s as if the growth is directly aimed at making us resolve these ancient terrors, so we can progress in life. Our fears are barriers, keeping us from becoming what we naturally wish to be.

A highly effective tool for making your old fears disappear is journaling. Try the following process.

  1. Set aside a notebook that is dedicated to journaling about your fears. Write in it regularly.
  2. Make a list of everything you are afraid of.
  3. Identify several childhood fears that you had. Have you overcome any of these? How were you able to erase your fear?
  4. Write about the sensation of fear, how it feels in your body, what it might look like if it had a tangible form.
  5. Write in detail about the conditions present when you experience fear in your current life. Describe the external circumstances as well as the sequence of your thoughts.

Now return to the list of all your current fears and work through them in whatever order you wish.

Write about:

  1. where you are when this fear arises
  2. what happens in your body when you feel it
  3. your response to the fear
  4. the value of this fear to you (don’t forget that some fear is good; it protects us from harm)
  5. and end with an observation (or two) about your fear at this point

As with all journaling, don’t neglect the important step of reviewing previous entries after some time has passed. It is when you look back on the past that your journey is revealed.

Finally, notice that the journal writing therapy prescribed here makes no demands on you to change. It is important not to feel pressured about changing. Know that you are journaling to record, to illustrate, to discuss; but not to achieve anything.

Let the change come of its own accord as you continue to observe and write.

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Mari McCarthy

 By Mari L. McCarthy – The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Health of It™.  Please visit Mari’s blog at CreateWriteNow. In Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, Mari presents a gentle process for self discovery through journaling. Mari’s latest publication is titled, Your Money Matters! Use Journal Writing Therapy to Get Financially Fit Now.

Enter to win! By leaving a comment or question on today’s post, you are entered to win a copy of Mari’s ebook: Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life. I use random.org to select a winner – posted tomorrow, Wed., Aug. 31)

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Filed under Advice, books, Give Aways

Tuesdays with…Mari L. McCarthy: JOURNALING

 

Win this ebook!

 

Journal: Write: Reflect

By Mari L. McCarthy

If the world seems to be off its rocker, your friends turn on you, everybody’s pressuring you, and your mother is obviously out to ruin your life, it’s time you took up journaling.

Keeping a journal is like having a secret garden or hideaway that is always available to you. You can go there anytime, and you always come back from there with a better grip on life.

It seems like a simple thing, and it is. You just get hold of a small notebook and keep a pen with it, and have it always in your purse or back pocket. Whip it out at the mall, on the bus, between classes, at the basketball game, in the middle of the night. Make note. Observe. Reflect. Notice what you notice.

Or you can do it more formally, of course, with a nice big notebook, a selection of pens by your cozy chair at home, and an ingrained daily habit of writing every evening at 9. Whatever works. Whatever system best encourages you to reflect on your experiences and articulate your reflections.

The more you become accustomed to reflecting like this, the more you appreciate the enormity of your awareness, and the infinite number of possibilities that are open to you.

Here are a few ideas to write about, just to kickstart your practice.

  • Write about what makes your best friend special to you.
  • Recollect the best vacation you ever took. 
  • Describe your immediate family and what makes each person unique. 
  • Write about your proudest accomplishment. 
  • Describe your favorite activity or sport to do in your spare time.

 

Or try this: make a scrapbook snapshot. Create a mini time capsule of your life by filling a page or two with photos, magazine cutouts, drawings and writing about what you love at the moment. Include your favorite foods, books, toys, movies, hobbies, songs, hangouts and friends, and go into detail about why you like these things.

Another idea: think back to a time when you were younger. Doesn’t matter how much younger, just some event that occurred when you were appreciably less experienced than you are now. What would it be like to have a conversation with your younger self? What would you say as encouragement? How would your younger self view the person that you are now?

I love coming up with prompts for journaling, but the soul of journaling is You and Your practice and Your understanding and joy. Interacting in a friendly way with your experiences, especially your younger self, can turn up a ton of good stuff, including making you feel happier and more confident in the here and now.

Mari L. McCarthy

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.

 *For a chance to win a FREE copy of the ebook 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness, leave a comment under this post before MIDNIGHT. Winner will be randomly selected and announced Wednesday, May 18

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Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, Give Aways

Heavy Heart

I was all set to post a  great quote and follow-up on pessimism today, but I’m not feeling it.

When you walk around with a positive attitude, hell-bent on being everyone’s cheerleader, including your own, the energy sometimes wanes.  Especially when your hit with a blow.

Someone close to me is ill.

After losing a breast to cancer, she was just told there are numerous tumors in her brain. To operate or not, is the question she and her family are struggling with this very moment. How do I go about my day with feeble decisions to make: will I finish my article for Writing Kid? When will I decide the dates of my young writers summer studio?

Seriously, I need to make the decision of where to go to come apart. As women, we are the pillars of strength for those who are weak. The open arms, the strong shoulders, the voice of reasoning. Where do we go when we need to cry? A locked bathroom, closet floor, parked car? Our blog?

I do know that writing about it makes it better. Somehow.

What is pressing heavily on your heart today? Write about it. Hopefully, you’ll reread the pasage in the future and feel lighter.

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Filed under emotion, Perseverance, Rest

5 Prompt Friday!

Ideas to get your pen moving or your keys tapping…

(Courtesy of A Writer’s Book of Days, by Judy Reeves)

  1. You’re moving into a new house; write about the family that lived there before you.
  2. Write about a brief encounter.
  3. Start with this quote: “After all, it wasn’t what she expected.”
  4. Write about a premonition.
  5. You’re listening to the radio….

Have fun and come back to share what developed from these prompts! I love success stories!

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Filed under Fiction, Inspiration, writing inspiration, Writing prompts