Mari McCarthy Asks: WHO Are You? (Review)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Well, Mari McCarthy has done it again. In the newest book in her journaling series, WHO Are You? 7 Days Self-Discovery Journaling Challenge, she gives writers the perfect head-start to writing, journaling, or just discovering who we are beneath the surface.

She starts by sharing us the aim of her book which is to answer questions we often avoid answering such as, "What kind of person am I?" and "What are my dreams and fears?" or even "Where have I been and where am I going?" The only rule Mari has is that we need to go through each of the seven days consecutively, doing all the exercises. Other than that, there is no right or wrong.

Each chapter is set up with an introduction to the chapter's theme, a couple of exercises then tips on how to 'Focus on YOU'. She even gives you a few sample sentences to prompt your creative juices. Each chapter leads into the next, which is why Mari stresses the importance of doing them in order.

The chapter I found most difficult to tackle was Day 5: Courage. You'd think that a person who has two memoirs under her belt would have no trouble writing about things like why I avoid the truth or why I think I shortchange myself or what I'm afraid of. But it was both terrifying and refreshing to complete this section. "Courage can be found in the folds of your beliefs," Mari says. "What do you believe?" It was tough to start but as I wrote, I felt myself opening up.

I won't ruin the joy of this book for you, but I will say I think every writer out there should pick up a copy. It helps get the words out using the art of free-flow writing--that's where you're writing without thinking or trying to be perfect (which many of us writers tend to do). It's all about learning about our inner selves and bringing that into our writing.

I sure wish I'd had Mari there with me when I was trying to get the words out for my memoir White Elephants. Initially, I had so much trouble bringing the words--the right words--out. Without even knowing Mari, I used the very same tactics to help me calm down, work through the anger and tell the story the way it should be told.

Thank you, Mari, for sharing yet another helpful tool to keep our writing strong and keeping our words flowing freely. And, as you always say: WriteON!

Writers, join Mari's next 7 day journaling challenge here:


Margo Dill said...

Chynna, great review. Mari is a genius. I did her 27-day challenge, and it had similar exercises in it. :) Thanks!

Chynna said...

Thanks, Margo. =D I think every writer should do exercises like Mari's. They really get those creative juices flowing. =)

Mari said...

Thanks for the mahvelous review, Chynna. WriteON!

Chynna said...

But, of COURSE! You ROCK, Mari. ;)


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