I joined Mari L. McCarthy's 27-day journaling challenge, because I had hit a wall. Nothing in my life was moving in a positive direction and I felt abandoned by my muse, yes, I was in the midst of the dreaded writers block? Truthfully, I was in the middle of a life block, it just happened to include writers block. So why, at a point when I didn't know up from down, or east from west did I choose to try a journaling exercise. Why not?
I've been a writer since a very young age, and even kept a diary. It was the teenage girl thing to do, but with three brothers and a sister who loved to torture, keeping a diary wasn't wise so I grew away from recording my life. From a very early age I'd been taught that if I didn't have anything good to say, I shouldn't say it and somehow I transferred that directive to my writing. Some might call those directives survival skills. You know the standby—children should be seen but not heard, after all silence is golden, and a pleasing personality wins the gold star.
I learned the art of suppression so well; I carried it with me into adulthood, to the detriment of my health. The suppression of pain, abuse, and unexpressed anger, at least in my mind is the cause of my health issues. However, even though I believed that, I had no idea how to defeat my demons, but Mari's challenge changed that for me.
Mari promised peace of mind and body, health and happiness, desperate, how could I not take the challenge? The result would not only change my personal life, it would erase any semblance of writers block. I wrote every day, and with Mari's prompts, even at 5:00 AM, the brain kicked into gear and the words flowed onto the page. Some days I would write one page, other days, I would write three to six pages, and not in a small notebook. I choose a large faux leather covered binder with thick pages and thin lines. (Hint) The tools are just as important as the commitment.
The most miraculous thing to occur was that my muse reappeared and I began working on several projects simultaneously. I had several writing projects that vied for my attention and I was thrilled to be working on them too. Prior to the start of the challenge, I was at full stop, but as soon as I allowed my true feelings to hit the page, the third book of my murder trilogy miraculously came together. Mari's journaling challenge prompts, freed my mind, cleared it of the clutter. By the end of just two months, I had sent a short story, a book of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, and my newly finished novel to the editor. My life was unblocked, my creativity flowing, and I give full credit to the exercises of Mari L. McCarthy's Peace of Mind and Body: 27 Days of Journaling to Health & Happiness challenge.
Now I journal daily, and the change to my life, my writing, and yes, even my health has been dramatic. Thank you Mari, your prompts are invaluable, the process cathartic, the outcome priceless!
About Yolanda Renée
I really wanted to be a drummer, or a racecar driver. Obviously I'm neither, but they are on my bucket list, that, and owning my very own fire breathing dragon!
I've always loved books. It was through books that I escaped a crazy childhood, increased my vocabulary, and experienced many new worlds. Now I write escapism for others.
Highly influenced by authors like Caroline Keene, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King, I write mystery, romance, and horror, sometimes in the same book! The first book of my murder trilogy set in Alaska, is Murder, Madness & Love, the second is Memories of Murder, and soon to be published is Murder & Obsession.