Mari L. McCarthy, author of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days, launches her book tour

Monday, April 30, 2012
& special giveaway contest!

Journaling, like any writing adventure or exercise program, tends to be cyclical—there are the times when you can’t wait to get-to-it and times when you can’t get started. Mari has the fix! It is her new workbook, Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days.

In this workbook, Mari addresses the most common roadblocks we come against in our journaling practice, from writer’s block and lack of time to finding motivation and silencing our inner critic. Whether you are new to journaling or need to climb out of a slump, these seven days of writing prompts will get you moving in the right direction.

While looking through this book, my first important realization was that I relate journaling to assigned writing—it’s a chore. Mari opens the book with a collage project! Perfect for drawing out my inner child and re-associating journaling time with play time. Sue Bradford Edwards tells us more about Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days, and shows us her collage, in her book review.

I haven’t worked through this book yet because I’m waiting to work through it with you! Join me for Mari’s upcoming Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days Challenge June 4-10 and we will re-discover journaling together! Signing up for the challenge is free. See what fellow WOW! team member, Anne Greenawalt, had to say about the challenge in the video below!

Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days is available from Create Write Now as an eWorkbook, spiral bound print copy, or Kindle e-book

Special Giveaway Contest!

Give your journaling a true jumpstart with Mari’s Journaling Jumpstarter Kit and an ecopy (.pdf) of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days! The Journaling Jumpstarter Kit includes Create Write Now's Signature Journal (spiral bound), 85 of Mari's Most Musefull Journaling Tips (spiral bound) and luscious lavender scented pen. Simply leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, May 3 at 11:59 PM PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #7DaysStart, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner the following day--Friday, May 4. Good luck!

About the author:

When Multiple Sclerosis robbed her right side of strength Mari decided to teach herself to write with her left hand. She gained more than strength, she found herself—buried talents, hidden baggage, and a way to heal herself from the inside out.

Now a certified Journal Therapist, Mari shares her knowledge and experience with others by teaching them how to find their own strengths and talents and use them to solve problems and achieve goals.

Find the author online:

Create Write Now website:

Mari L. McCarthy’s blog:


Twitter: @Createwritenow


---------Interview by Robyn Chausse

WOW: Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days is like a road map for how to get back on track with our journaling no matter why we’ve wandered away. What are some of the struggles you have faced in your own journaling that pulled you off track?

Mari: My struggles came early on when I was first starting to journal via Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages [The Artist's Way]. Once I started realizing that journaling was helping me access my inner world, I started hearing inner voices telling me that I was so selfish spending so much time writing. This major page fright incident affected me physically: my jaw clenched, my throat tightened, my stomach churned incessantly. So no more Morning Pages. I moved to my computer, and kept a “journal.” a diary really, for a long time. When I came across The Art of Fiction Writing by Emily Hanlon, I discovered that the voices were my inner critics and they no way wanted me to discover my creativity, talents and power. Someone telling me I can’t do something was all I needed to get back to my journaling practice (pen to page everyday) and start tearing down the walls of fear I’d erected and trashing all the erroneous messages I’d been carrying around. Today, if I find myself avoiding the page, I simply ask my Journal a question and free write the answer.

WOW: So many women, myself included, react strongly to the thought of being selfish—we somehow decided that taking time out for our own psyche is bad. Then again, between work and family obligations some of us truly are strapped for time. When someone comes to you saying they are so frazzled and busy that they just can’t spare more than ten to fifteen minutes a day journaling, what is your advice to them?

Mari: Whatever journaling time you can give to yourself is a start. The most important thing is that you journal every day. I’d tell them to grab their journal and pen, and just free write, write, write. I’d tell them to dump all their stresses on their Journal and to ask their Journal to help them in creating the quality self time they need for themselves. We are so experienced in ruminating and processing and over thinking, in stressing ourselves, in being controlled by our inner critics and caretaking everyone else that we’ve lost ourselves. Our Journal is there to guide us home. The best thing to do is listen to your heart and Nike it: Just do it! And you’ll see with daily practice that you manage time; it no longer controls you.

WOW: Sometimes it’s easier to “show up” for a daily practice when other people are expecting us which is why I was drawn to your free Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days Challenges; I signed up for one scheduled in June. What types of journals will people be working on?

Mari: For the Start Journaling Challenge, you’ll just need a journal you love. We’ll be doing all kinds of interesting exercises, like creating collages, remembering how to be kind to yourself, exercises that cover the arts and crafts of a daily journaling practice.

WOW: Sounds like fun! We often think of journaling as a solitary process, what is the benefit of journaling with a group?

Mari: You realize that you have a lot of company on your life and journaling journey. That the group’s love, understanding, and support helps you through your challenges and helps you get to where you need to go next. When you have friends listening to you read from your Journal, they’ll pick up things and be able to provide insight and feedback that you might never have considered. Just their positive, healthy energy means quite a lot!

WOW: You began journaling as a form of physical therapy and began a new journey in your life. What are the top three gifts you’ve received from your adventure into journaling?

Mari: The top three gifts would be: 1) a loving, positive, healthy relationship with my true Self 2) a singer who performs in public and records and sells her music and 3) 24/7/365 internal peace and serenity.

WOW: How wonderful that you share your songs on your website—such an inspiration for your readers to see what talents they too might uncover!

Speaking about uncovering . . . some people are apprehensive about delving more deeply into themselves and the possible shifts that might incur in their relationships. How would you address that? I’m sure you’ve had some shifting to deal with in your relationships with friends and family.

Mari: Journaling does mean major behavior change because you are living your life from the inside out; not responding, reacting, putting all your energy into everyone else. The best way to address those shifts is by more journaling. Talk it out, ask questions, identify your wants and needs and plan out how to handle different relationships and situations. More journaling helps you become more confident in compassionately confronting others. In starting new healthy relationships and stopping unhealthy ones.

WOW: Mari, I know you are constantly working on something! What’s next?

Mari: Well, we’ve just published a new free eBook: 143 of Mari’s Juicy Journaling Prompts  that will get journalers to the page and writing, writing, writing away.

For May through August, Create Write Now is focusing on Journaling for Self-Improvement. In May, we are doing a Pay Yourself First/Money Mastery 7 Days Journaling Challenge and running another Who Are You? 7 Days Journaling Challenge. In June, we’ll be running a Get a Job 7 Days Journaling Challenge. Here’s the 2012 Calendar of Journaling Challenges we have announced so far:

WOW: WOW! Something for everyone…from getting a job to de-cluttering the house!

Thank you for sharing with us today, Mari. I’ll see you in June!

You can listen to/download Mari singing Create Write Now’s company theme song, “All the Time,” and purchase her albums at

Read our other interviews with Mari McCarthy!

Peace of Mind and Body: 27 Days of Journaling to Health & Happiness

Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life

Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul

---------Blog Tour Dates

May 2 @ All Things Audrey
Descriptive Journaling--just how do you capture the experience? Mari has some tips...and Audry treats us to a review of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days.

May 3 @ Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them
Step over to the silly side! Scribble, draw, make up stories…learn the benefits of playing in your journal. Winner’s Choice Giveaway!

May 4 @ I Was Just Thinking…
Did you know that non-writers can be even better at journaling than writers? Mari McCarthy explains...

May 7 @ Book Bags and Catnaps
In a writer's fog? Mari tells how to shake it off!

May 8 @ The World of My Imagination
What unleashes your energy, unlocks your imagination, excites your life and ambitions more than anything? Mari tells us how to find our wellspring!

May 10 @ A Slice of Life
While describing emotions comes naturally to many, some people have a very difficult time writing about how they feel inside. Mari McCarthy shares some tips...

May 11 @ Happy, Healthy, Whole-The Journey to Find Balance
Is your perfectionism getting in the way of your journaling? Mari is here to help!

May 12 @ Barbara Conelli's Chique Show on Blog Talk Radio
Join us for a special LIVE interview on Blog Talk Radio! Barbara Conelli, the hostess of Chique Show, will be interviewing Mari McCarthy at noon, Eastern Time.

May 14 @ Chynna Laird's Lily Wolf Words
The "I Remember …" Prompt: A Technique for Self-Discovery – Applying this simple technique over a month (or a lifetime) is a way to create your own self-portrait, analyze it, and then put your discoveries to positive use in your life.

May 15 @ Lisa M. Buske
Does your journal go all over the place? Mari can help you gain clarity and order.
Lisa offers her review of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days.

May 17 @ Dream Hour
How adept are you at accessing the treasures revealed by your spontaneous self? Join Mari for a talk on spontaneity! Also, great fun with a giveaway (your choice of prizes) and Jessica's review of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days!

May 18 @ A Tattered Past
There's a reason your Inner Critic talks the way it does. Mari shows us how to understand that reason and to turn it into a tool that will help instead of hurt you. Rita shares her book review and there's a Winner's Choice Giveaway!! FUN!

May 21 @ NerdFamily Things
Before we can discover Paradise we need to know what Pardise is--sketch out your idea of Nirvana with Mari McCarthy!

May 22 @ Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
Does spring's beauty leave you speechless? Use your journal to magnify the joy. Mari shares some jumping-off places!

May 23 @ CMash Loves to Read
Mari shares some offbeat journaling practices and we have a Winner's Choice Giveaway for you! Come join the fun!

May 24 @ Callie Kingston
We make up all kinds of hairy monsters that threaten our happiness and very existence. Mari shows us how to use our journal to face the enemy and make a deal.

May 25 @ Crazy for Books
Come on by! Jennifer is sharing her review of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days.

Check out our blog tour prizes!

At various stops along Mari’s tour winners will have the choice of either an ecopy of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days, a spiral bound copy, or one of Mari’s signature t-shirts!

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar here.

Get Involved!

If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email Robyn or Jodi at

Giveaway Contest:
Enter to win a Journaling bundle! Prizes include an e-copy of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days ($19.97), and a Journaling Jumpstarter Kit ($24.95), which includes Create Write Now's Signature Journal (spiral bound), 85 of Mari's Most Musefull Journaling Tips (spiral bound) and luscious lavender scented pen. Here's how you enter:

1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Just leave Mari a comment or ask a question to be entered in the random drawing.

2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #7DaysStart then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.

The giveaway contest closes Thursday, May 3 at 11:59 PM PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post the following day--Friday, May 4, and if we have the winner's email from the comments section, we will also notify them via email.

Good luck!


venus and mars said...

Sounds like exactly what i need to kick start my journaling that has been abandoned for almost twenty years (and then it was only when i was obsessive about a boy!) so need to branch out and begin anew!

Unknown said...

I have always wanted to journal, but have never gotten around to it. I would love to read Mari's suggestions on how to get started!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Robyn for the great interview! See you in class in June! Hi to all my sister journalers! Please let me know how I can help you with starting and/or sticking to your Journaling Practice. WriteON!

Anonymous said...

Do you consider your MS part of your "author platform?"

Tamar said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway :)
tamarsweeps at

Anonymous said...

Hi Charlene,

I'm not familiar with the term "author platform". Please help me out there. Thanks.

Virginia said...

I've been journaling for years, but lately I haven't been very consistent. This workbook would be a great help.

Robyn Chausse said...

Hi Mari,
Looking forward to "class" in June and beginning a new relationship with my journal!

In regards to "author platform"--that is generally a term used by publicists/publishers to indicate a target market, how a book is marketed, or an author's audience.

Cathy Biggerstaff said...

This book sounds like it would be right up my alley. If I don't win, I will buy it.

Unknown said...

Journaling is a major factor in my happiness!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Robyn, see you in June! And to Bonnie, ditto and WriteON! Lady.

Jennifer Wilson said...

What a neat kit! I've been journaling off and on for almost 30 years. It's so fun to look back to my journals from elementary school!

Jenndiggy at gmail dot com

Carey said...

This sounds like a good starting point for me. I've dreamed of writing for years. This year I've finally decided to make it a reality. I read a tip the other day to start by journaling if you're really not sure what to write. So that's where I'm beginning.

Janet Boyanton said...

What a great way to start journaling! I love the idea.
jboyanto at swbell dot net

spirit_kim said...

I have gone through periods of journaling and would like to start again. This would be helpful.
gabe411 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Author platform is hard to distill, but I think of it as what makes you uniquely qualified to write what you write.

orchidfae said...

My sister loves to journal! I really need to get into that also
moonstonepagan @ yahoo dot com

Sand said...

I've been meaning to journal and am at a loss as how to get started.

WOW! said...

Happy Friday!

Thank you for your comments. :) We held a drawing via and it picked comment #2 as a winner. Congratulations Janel! You won a Journaling bundle! Prizes include an e-copy of Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days ($19.97), and a Journaling Jumpstarter Kit ($24.95), which includes Create Write Now's Signature Journal (spiral bound), 85 of Mari's Most Musefull Journaling Tips (spiral bound) and luscious lavender scented pen.

Please send your mailing address to and we will forward it to Mari for you. I see your email on your profile, so we will follow up with an email. Also, make sure you sign up for the journaling challenge that goes with the book! It's on June 4th, and you'll get to network with other journalers.

For everyone else: make sure you check out the rest of the stops on this tour for more giveaways and fantastic advice from Mari McCarthy!

Write On!

Unknown said...

Yay! I can't wait to receive all of the fabulous goodies and start journaling. :)

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