Author Q&A: Mari L. McCarthy, “Journaling Power”

Mari L. McCarthyMari L. McCarthy, author of Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live, is the founder of CreateWriteNow.com. She’s created 21 self-paced journaling courses, such as 14 Days of Journal Magic for Writers, that have inspired and guided thousands of people to heal, grow, and transform themselves.

Mari L. McCarthy  talks about the importance of journaling, her transition from course-writer to self-help book author, and more in this Author Q&A.

And check out my guest post on her blog: How to Use Journaling to Create Goals.

What led you to write Journaling Power?

I had been journaling for a long time (15 years) with magnificent results, and my journal (I use her for everything!) told me it was time to share my “self-help memoir” with the world. She knows I love challenges, doing something I never, ever, remotely entertained the thought of, and I trusted that it was time to write my first award-winning, best-selling book.

What was your process for writing it? Getting it published?

I set a daily goal of spending half an hour on envisioning, organizing, and outlining it. Then when I had it all scoped out, I expanded the time to an hour and began the actual writing.

I did a lot of journaling around it, read a lot of books, and worked with a lot of writing coaches to get all the insight, ideas, and information I could. I was creating my book’s back cover when I connected with Casey Demchak, an ace copywriter, who just happened to be part of the Hasmark Services team, and voila, I found my publisher.

What was your favorite part of working on Journaling Power

My favorite part was the rewriting. It opened up all kinds of new ideas and brought a ghostwriter by the name of Lyn Alderson into my project who helped me polish it, and also recommended, researched, and contributed the scientific studies content.

The greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge was the first draft. I was fortunate to have my journal by my side, because the actual writing brought up all kinds of psychological and emotional issues that I needed to deal with.

In what ways was it similar to/different than your eWorkbook and course writing?

The organizing/structuring process was the same, but with Journaling Power, I had to share my soul. Being a private person, this was a new and scary proposition.
Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live

Why is journaling so important?

Oh, let me count the ways. There are many reasons. For writers, it is the best way to daily clear out the clutter, and compassionately confront the physical, psychological, and spiritual issues that are stuck inside our cells and subconscious. It helps us stay connected to our inner writer. It is the best drug available for writer’s block (I call it “page fright”).

Can you share a few tips for journaling?

The best tip is that there is only one right way to journal: your way. Journaling is a come-as-you-are party. Do it wherever you feel like doing it, be it your bathroom or your bedroom. Keep it for future reference, burn it, or do what I do: give to the trash man when I’ve completed one. Again, it’s a writer’s choice.

Advice for non-fiction book writers?

Keep a journal! Ask her/him questions, talk with her/him, dump all your garbage. Tap into your inner coach rather than continuing to fuel the inner critic. Get and stay organized. Set goals and keep to a daily writing routine.

Any additional advice about writing and promoting a book?

As part of your daily writing routine, read and research book promotion opportunities and keep a file. Work on expanding your social media reach on the platform(s) that your target audience uses.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?

That creativity needs structure and discipline to flourish. I’d always believed that I was a successful businessperson, that I couldn’t possibly have any creative writing talent, that I couldn’t be both! Also, that I didn’t have to everything myself. Having collaborators/resources helps enhance and accelerate the book creation process.

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