Creative Catharsis: Write in Your Journal

Jacqueline Marcell Health Guide
  • When I was taking care of my elderly parents (both with Alzheimer’s) I kept a daily journal to keep track of everything, but also to help me get my emotions out. I never imagined that a year later I would be so compelled by my caregiving experience that I would turn my diary into my first book, Elder Rage. Boy am I glad I’ve kept a journal since I was 15, because other than that, I’d never written anything but a postcard!

    Once I made the decision to write my book, I’d start about 9:00 am and the day would just fly by, turning quickly into night. I'd have to stop writing at 1:00 am to go to sleep, and I'd be mad. I loved it! I went back and forth from my bed to my desk for months and months on end–consumed with a passion for writing and for getting my story out.
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    I found the process of writing so fascinating-how thoughts come and words form, but then one day I hit a block and just sat there for hours waiting for inspiration. I finally solved it by letting go and doing other things–but with numerous notepads all around the house. Once I relaxed about it, gems just popped into my head, and I was able to capture them before they seeped back out to the cosmos.

    I noticed that some of my best ideas would magically show up while I was in the shower- a waterproof board prevented several poignant pearls from escaping. And it seemed like the most magnificent metaphors and amazing alliterations would show up while awakening from a dream in the middle of the night. I’d grab my tape recorder to capture my brilliance (positive I had a Pulitzer prize-winner on my hands), but somehow by morning when I played it back– gremlins had invaded. I often thought, "Geeeze, what the hell was that all about? It seemed so clear and fabulous last night!"

    Then there were times I’d be out with friends and something they’d say would magically catapult my mind off on a wild ride, yearning to create. I could taste inspiration coming… on the brink of capturing divine wisdom. Wait, wait, it’s processing–I hear gears turning. Here it comes… let me get this down…yes, yes, yes, that’s it!

    So, I always encourage caregivers to write, and purge what they are going through, even if they haven’t ever written, and don’t think anyone will ever read it–because you just never know. I believe that adversity and stress can also produce great determination and inspiration. I never dreamed of writing a book, ever, and I certainly would have never guessed that my life’s most harrowing experience-- one that took me to my knees and nearly destroyed me-- would turn out to also be the catalyst that ignited my fire and lead me to my life’s highest purpose, passion and reward.

    You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at
Published On: August 18, 2006