Creative Writing Therapy: Finding Direction, Figuring Out Fulfillment

    Mari L. McCarthy February 7, 2012

    Guest Blog Post by Margaret

    Margaret Guest Post Image Composition Book resized 600I kept a diary as a child. Purple with polka dots and a gold keyed lock. I wrote about my feelings, my thoughts, my opinions. It well served as an outlet of expression, but lacked implication. Emotions were laid out willy-nilly, never arranged in a way that made sense. Their rationality was unchallenged. Their origin unexplored.

    As a teenager I graduated from my purple diary to composition books, black and white speckled, and begin to write those thoughts I held private from the world, convinced they would be misunderstood. I composed song lyrics about love and tried to make sense of my adolescence.

    I became consumed with exploring the ideas of others versus my own as an adult. Trying to unravel the mystery of my life, I searched the used bookstores of San Francisco in search of the answer – the one book that would make sense of my existence. I never found that book.

    Between working and endless job searching, a consequence of the Silicon Valley tech bust, I became consumed with the day to day. My reading became limited to the commute on the train. I never wrote at all. The journals of my childhood and adolescence had been long disposed out of the embarrassment about the less-than-adult self they revealed.

    I had dismissed writing as a component of my identity, consumed as I was with finding my niche in the world of work – so consumed that most all of my conversations rotated around my pursuit. Instead of searching for the answer in novels, I began to informally catalogue the experiences of others. If it worked for them and they were happy, then maybe if I followed their pattern then I would be...Well, that method didn’t work. But through the collection of stories, I gained reverence for the process. I saw that there wasn’t one clear way to find fulfillment, no right answers; there was only probable directions chosen partly by intent and partly by circumstance.

    I wanted to make sense of it all. To organize my experiences, the stories I had read and the stories I had heard from others, and finding no other outlet suitable, I began to write about the process of finding a niche, the process of figuring out one’s fulfillment. I wanted to create a place for others to explore, to stay a while, to meditate on their own processes.

    The beginning of my posts always came quickly.  I laid out the scene, but I got stuck at each ending.  I could feel what I wanted to say, but I could not find the words.  I’d walk away and come back until I could pull the words from myself, finally, unlike the writing of my childhood, coherent in their application.

    Writing about the process of finding my niche, the vicarious experiences of others, I made sense of my direction. Stop by. Share your experience. Join me in Figuring Out Fulfillment. 

    Here is my composition book. I write every morning before work, and find the practice of organizing my thoughts helps me through the day.

    About the Author

    Margaret is an author on the blog, Figuring Out Fulfillment, a storytelling project about finding a career and finding yourself. After finishing a Masters in Business Administration, Margaret moved to San Francisco in her 20s, where she lived through the technology bust at the beginning of the 2000-2010 decade. In San Francisco she tried on and tried out a number of different jobs and possible careers. Each one taught her something about herself and got her a little closer to figuring out fulfillment. Increasingly interested in the role work plays in peoples’ lives, she completed a Masters in Social Work at Columbia University, where she focused her studies on workplace issues. She now works and lives in Washington, DC with her husband, three cats, and a few roaming fur balls. You can email her at
    Margaret’s Journal today is her composition book. She says, “I write every morning before work, and find the practice of organizing my thoughts helps me through the day.”

    Do you find yourself dwelling on missed opportunities? Or perhaps you're having trouble making sense of it all? Please download our free ebook, CreateWriteNow's Expert Guide to Therapeutic Journaling,  shows you journaling can provide the tools you need to achieve the happiness we all deserve.

    expert guide journaling guide

    A Morning Pages practice is a key component of better physical and mental health, greater energy, and an overall feeling of well-being. Our 12 Day Guide to Morning Pages self-paced journaling course is a gentle introduction to this daily habit that will change your life.