...that living a creative life is an adventure.
...that embracing our creative expression - whatever form it takes - helps us lead fuller, more enriching, and more generous lives.
I WANT WOMEN TO KNOW...
...that they are not alone on this journey.
...that there's no such thing as failure.
...that they can find joy in bringing creative expression into all areas of their lives in both big and small ways.
...is to help you on your creative adventure through unique worksheets, workbooks, workshops, and community-building focused on self-reflection, practical guidance, and gentle encouragement.
At Curious Journals, I focus on three topics:
- Self-expression through creativity
- Travel writing, photography, and memory keeping
- Fiction writing and story analysis
MY CREATIVE JOURNEY
What joy means to me
One day not so long ago, I found myself talking about creativity with my business coach. I used the word "joy." I spoke about what brings me joy. I think it's the first time I'd used that word with any sincerity.
I had no joy in my life through my teens and twenties, even a bit into my thirties.
I don't mean that I had a particularly bad life or that I didn't sometimes have a good time. This emotion called "joy" just wasn't part of it. If you'd asked me several years ago what joy was, I might've told you it was a fake emotion people made up but didn't really feel. That's how far from joy I was.
Looking back, I can see that there were seeds. Clues. Driving across the sparce, wild landscape of Donegal, Ireland for the first time. Discovering the wit of Jane Austen. Playing "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" on the piano with the best singer I knew in college. In those moments I saw something new in the world and in myself.
In my thirties, I crawled out of depression and anxiety and discovered that joy exists. To me, joy is inspiration, exploration, excitement, purpose, all coming together. Joy pushes out anxiety and self-destructive thoughts. There's no room for those when I'm sitting in an Irish pub in the middle of the night, just me and a handful of people singing along to the Irish drinking song version of "Hey, Jude," accompanied by a guitarist and fiddle player. Or when inspiration strikes and I can't even wait for the layers of paint on canvas to dry, so I start another, moving back and forth until I discover what it is I've created.
The difference now is that I make things and I do things.
I found my creativity through a lot of trial and error, and a lot of play. I learned to paint. I learned to make books. I tried to learn to draw (I'm still working on that one). For the past nine years, I've followed my passions and my whims. I discovered a new love for taking wispy fragments of thoughts and making them into art, and fell back in love with books.
I stopped waiting for things to happen to me, and started doing things. I sought out new experiences and new places to go. At work, I requested every opportunity for travel, even if it was to the middle of nowhere, Illinois. Instead of dreaming of other places, I followed the trail of genealogical research to visit my ancestral town of Moffat, Scotland.
WHY I STARTED CURIOUS JOURNALS
Now, as I'm about to turn 40, I want to make this more of my life so that I can leave behind the spreadsheets and 8-5 schedule of my day job. In this next phase of my life I will start connecting with others. This path so far has been very solitary, and now I am looking for others to join me. That's what I'm creating here, a place to share what I've learned about creativity and joy, and to talk honestly about what I'm still learning. I very much hope you'll join me.
FUN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ME
- I like to listen to video game soundtracks while I'm writing.
- My favorite video game is Mass Effect
- I get ASMR tingles (my favorite ASMRtist is Oliva Kissper)
- The first book that made me cry was Where the Red Fern Grows
- Scotland is my favorite place in the world
- My favorite writers are Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, and Margaret Atwood, but I also love to read fantasy novels
- My favorite movie is Jurassic Park
- I'm firmly #TeamDragon in Game of Thrones