Our IAJW members are from all around the world with a wide range of experiences with journaling. Our Member Spotlight Interviews are a way to shine a light on our amazing members and to learn from their stories and journal writing tips.

I am happy to introduce to our featured member this month, Jay Gendron from Florida (he just moved there :), USA.

From the moment Jay became an IAJW member and showed up to our live virtual event, his fun and kind energy was felt and appreciated.  Jay brings humour and creativity to our Writing Alone Together Circles. He also has brought fun emoji signs that he made and offers a thumbs up to sharing and writing offered by others in our community.  I was so touched when Jay popped into a writing circle just to say “hi” on his birthday, even though he couldn’t stay for the circle, he wanted to connect in our caring community on his special day. That really made my day too!  I am sure you will get a sense of his enthusiasm and wonderful energy in his interview that follows. Please offer Jay a comment or just say “hello” to him in the comments below, I know he would love that!

Why did you join the IAJW?

I joined in mid-2022 because I finally decided Im going to journal… really! I wanted to journal for over 30 years, and I hoped joining would generate some catalyst to drive me towards writing.

What do you like best about journaling? How has it enriched your life?

Its no understatement to say journaling has changed my life. I stand in awe at the transformative power of the neurocognitive process while writing in my journal. I playfully summarize this with my students when I describe Think to Ink”. In December 2022, I wrote I am a writer who does tech work for a living”. This reversed the way I had been thinking about my identity throughout my adult career. That simple act of writing transformed brain electricity into ink, which drove me to move two months later. I had zero plans to move. Yet, after a month of dog sitting in Florida, I imagined a life offering memoir writing retreats in a home that I found. I took this knee-jerk action with confidence because I had journaled I am a writer. I knew that truth lived in me and emerged on the page. Its a powerful force when we birth our thoughts into reality, through the written word.

What is one journal writing tip that you would like to share?

This… journal every day. Find time each day. Journal for as long as it feels right.

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

I stumbled across Julia Camerons book The Artists Way based on hearing about it in a podcast episode. After purchasing a thrift-store copy, it sat among my shelves for several months until I started taking part in IAJW writing circles. I realized the book others talked about was the book I bought months earlier. So I opened it up. What I most enjoy about Julias work is addressing our inner critic, as well as having a weekly artist date. Besides Julias renowned book, I recommend Eric Maisels Coaching the Artist Within. He examines the creative process with interesting client examples.

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

For over 30 years, I worked in the industry with math and analysis. Then I claimed by inner writer” for myself. I found a creative joy in writing, especially when I help women with a treasure trove of life experience create a first draft of their memoir in 2 months. I’m thrilled to serve in a way that helps women reach their goals.

What do you like most about being a member of the IAJW?

The community and its spirit… the beautiful people I have met and interact with during the monthly events.

An Invitation 

I love to entertain. So, I’m inviting IAJW members to my Florida home for free to experience the sun, wine, live music, and (of course) journaling. Gulfport is an artists village near Tampa and is pretty funky (in a good way). We say that if youre too weird for Gulfport, then youre too weird. Let me know when you want to visit the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast with our white sand beaches. 

About Jay Gendron

Jay Gendron is a published author of over five books and chapters and a fiction-writer-to-be. He served in the Air Force for over 20 years and was fortunate enough to live in seven different states and Europe. He has been a voracious reader for as long as he remembers. After working in the tech industry, Jay moved to Florida. There he launched his new business, helping women with a treasure trove of life experience to draft their memoirs without writing. He loves taking his Dalmatian (Sparks) on adventures, attending local theater, and enjoying live music events. He reflects on his day and journals each night before he sleeps.

If you would like to spark your creativity, be inspired to write, take your journaling to a deeper level and connect with fellow journal writers, I invite you to join the International Association for Journal Writing.  You can learn more about our many member benefits and join us here >>

Everyone is welcome!