Here is Michelle’s interview…
Why did you join the IAJW?
I’ve been an avid journaler since the age of 12, so it was amazing to finally find “my people” online. I had to join!
What do you like best about journal writing?
Journaling helps me in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to begin! I’d say the most important thing it does is keep me feeling safe and calm and sane. So many times, I approach my journal in a jumbled frenzy about something happening in my life. I might pick up my pen, thinking: How is this going to work out? Where did I go wrong? I’m so confused. I’m so mad at that person! or I can’t believe I did that to myself. But in the process of journaling, my thoughts get untangled, I lean into my faith, my underlying fears surface and flatten, I can breathe again, and I realize the sky is not actually falling. Even if it were falling, I have faith that there’s a new sky coming.
What is one journal writing tip that you would like to share?
One journal writing tip is to try different journals. For years I only had lined journals. Someone gave me an unlined journal as a gift. It sat on my shelf for years because I thought I need my lines! But one day, I tried the unlined journal and felt so free! Without the lines, I allowed myself to incorporate some drawings and diagrams into my journaling, helping me process what I sometimes cannot express in words. So I say: Try something new! A calligraphy pen, one-word journaling, a different line width…so many possibilities!
What is one of your favourite books on journal writing or creative inspiration?
As a novelist, I’m a lover of all things words. So, I’m constantly reading and marking up books, highlighting the words and phrases that sing to me. This is how I increase my vocabulary, how I learn new ways of thinking, and observe character traits to round out my own characters in fiction.
The one thing I would like you to know about me is…
My weirdest job: I was a kids’ Party Place mascot. Yes, I was a giant mouse at a Chuck. E. Cheese’s near my home when I was a teenager. Parents often held young children’s birthday parties there, and I donned a giant mouse-head with a furry gray body and giant red shoes to make kids’ wishes come through. (Although many of them were afraid and ran from me!)
My favourite part of being an IAJW member is…
The Zoom Writing Alone Together. As an omnivert, I love being around other people…but being quiet and thinking.
The last thing is…
Though I have written more than 50 books, I think I have written more words for journaling than I have shared with the public. Journaling brings me closer to the subjects/topics I write about. I can’t imagine one without the other.