One of the reasons I love the IAJW is that it is a place to make connections and be inspired through our shared love and interest in the transformational power of journal writing. I am meeting incredible people from different parts of the world through our IAJW membership community and I have decided to start a new IAJW Member Spotlight feature once per month so that you can meet some of these amazing people too.

We learn from one another’s stories. The first member I would like to introduce to you is Lyn Smith. Lyn is a dedicated and engaged IAJW member who participates in our monthly writing circle (she gets up at 4:00 am her time in Australia to participate), she regularly registers for our monthly telechats, and she is also a joyful presence in our member Facebook group. Lyn has a wonderful sense of humour and moving stories. She shares some of her story below in our first IAJW Member Spotlight. I hope you enjoy “meeting” her and learning how journal writing as been a valuable tool towards healing in her own life.


Meet Lyn Smith, IAJW Member

My name is Lyn and I am 70 years young, the eldest of seven, born and raised in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 30 years ago my own family moved 110 kms north to the beautiful central coast with beaches to the east and mountains and valleys to the west. My working years were spent as a secretary/personal assistant, and for the past 17 years I volunteered as facilitator of a cancer support group.

I enjoy crochet, genealogy, country music and rugby league football. I am currently writing my memoir.

Why did you join the IAJW?

A drop-out from general writing groups [too many egos], I joined IAJW seeking a connection to others with similar interest in journaling and life writing, a place to call home, of empathy and understanding, without judgement or expectations. I look forward to the monthly circle, where I spend time with my writing tribe, face to face, listening and sharing our writing. Their presence and energy continue to inspire, nurture and motivate me long after we part. It’s like visiting a favourite friend for a cuppa.

What do you like best about journal writing?

I have always been a lover of writing, reading and storytelling, but it was journal writing that has helped me heal, providing clarity and understanding, allowing me to finally let go of the demons of my past, to discover an exciting, happier present me, and giving me hope and direction for the future me.

As I was always one to want to help or fix things for others, often ignoring my own needs, I can relate to the following quote from Writing Alone Together: “Caring and empathy arise naturally as we get to know circle members through our writing. We do not need to heal or fix one another. What a relief it was to not have to do anything about what we are hearing. We listen, allow and let it be.”

What is one of your favourite books on journal writing or creative inspiration?

Books have educated and enriched my writing life, helping me to be a more creative writer. Natalie Goldberg and Sandra Marinella are two favourites.

The one thing I would like you to know about me is…

After walking on eggshells for most of my life, a cancer diagnosis taught me how strong I truly was and for the first time in my life I realised I was worth fighting for. I am a survivor of many life challenges, but will not let them define who I am nor what I can do.

A degenerative spinal condition limits my mobility, and while I am no longer able to do a lot of things physically, there are still many more avenues for me to explore. This is possible because of the love, care and support provided by my son, Greg, who is my full-time carer and my best friend.

What is your favourite part of being an IAJW member?

Being part of IAJW, with the expertise and skills of facilitator Lynda, has led me to find my solid ground, my writing tribe, and my place to call home.

Are you looking for journaling inspiration, creative connections and your “writing tribe”?  Join us here!