What's your reason for writing and when did you start?
Or do you want to start and don't know how?
I started when I was 12 years old because no one would listen to me.
So I decided to listen to myself... in a journal.
But my future didn't begin until my best friend was murdered.
When I was in my mid 30s, my best friend Jenny was murdered. I remember getting the news by voicemail back in the days of cassette driven voicemail machines. At first, I thought it was joke but when the truth of that reality set in, I shut down completely. I lost all my words and as a lifelong journaler it meant that I lost my way in purpose and in life. Emotion left me and I became numb. I stopped interacting with family and friends. Everything that had added meaning to my life ceased to amuse or capture my interest. I existed without purpose and months later when my emotions finally returned and I could actually begin to feel things again, I started going thru the motions of living…. started a new job, spent time with my kids, etc.
It wasn’t until years later that the desire to start writing again surfaced. I was, once again, beginning to find my words. Only now it was different. Simple, seemingly common words and thoughts became more vibrant and I began to see great value in even the simplest and most common of them. And because of their value I didn’t want to put them into just any book. So, after a several months journey of looking for the perfect book to write in, without success, I decided to make my own. And that was the beginning of the rest of my life.
For 6 months, after work every day, I sat in the aisles of Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores reading books about how to make books, boxes and paper. Finally, I bought a few and began making my own. While I worked painting houses during the week, on weekends I sold the books I made at summer art faires. My teenage son would help me and one Sunday evening while unpacking from a weekend trip, I fell in the driveway and could not get up again. My son came out and carried me inside because I couldn’t walk. And from that point neither could I do my job. So for 6 months, physically I began to walk again (but still limp), I lived on unemployment and turned my love of journaling, and making them for others, into a business that today impacts the lives and hearts of others around the world thru journaling.
What started over 20 years ago in a 2 bedroom triplex in Seattle is now a 3500sf studio in Santa Fe, NM with a free, electronics free, community space called The Writer’s Den, where locals gather every Friday evening to doodle, draw, read and write in physical books and with French liquid inks and European papers.