Archive for the ‘social events for journal writers’ Category

Lifeprints – Joannah Merriman

March 12, 2012

I suspect there are many other ” local” Northern Colorado people who are involved in promoting the creative discipline of journal writing.  I am certain that each has a special niche within this field.  It may be using art to illustrate your journal.  It may be a focus on writing memoir, or coaching, or leading workshops and retreats on reflective writing.

By the way, anyone across the country is welcome to contact me with information on your workshop and I will mention it in this blog.

In my own backyard (Fort Collins, Colorado) we are privileged to have Joannah Merriman, who established “Lifeprints”  in 1985 to promote reflective writing and has continued to expand and develop her foundation since then.  There are many types of workshops available.   One of the awesome opportunities offered through Lifeprints is the chance to go on a women’s journal writing retreat and guided tour of France or Italy.  This year they will be traveling to Provence and Paris, France from May 4 to 20.

For more information about Joannah and Lifeprints go to her website at



A Gathering for Journal Writers

March 12, 2012

On January 15, at my bookstore’s new retail location, I held a gathering for journal writers.   To my dismay only two people showed up, although it was advertised through the local paper, flyers, at the store itself,  and on Craig’s list.   I am not sure what this tells me.  There are so many ways to look at this.  The bookstore is still unknown and perhaps I need to establish more social-political ties through networking.

All three of us at the gathering were long-time journal writers: two older women and a man in his thirties.  He had some concerns stemming from criticism that he writes too much.  He works as a teacher.   We talked about balance.  I often observe that non-writers— especially people who do not keep journals— feel there is something harmful about recording your thoughts, feelings and experiences in a book, something loner-ish, as though you are a social misfit.   Au contraire, I think this is a path toward mental health and a form of meditation that deepens your life…particularly when continued over a long time.

Another issue we discussed was whether a diary archive should insist that all donations of diaries, journals and letters should be immediately open to the public or whether a donor could choose to keep them closed for a certain period of time to protect the people written about.   My position is they should be allowed to be closed for whatever amount of time the donor wishes.  There was some disagreement over this issue.

I hope to try another gathering for journal writers this coming year.  The question is whether there are many journal writers anymore and if these are individuals who enjoy socializing or those who prefer keeping their thoughts private.   I personally love groups and conversation.  More on “loners” in a future blog…

Look for future gatherings and check out my bookstore: The Eclectic Reader on Facebook.  Email at



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