Writing mentor and Guide
I'm Marie Maccagno, founder of Adventures in Writing.
I remember “writing stories” as a child before I knew how to form letters. Later in university, I completed an undergraduate English degree but was disappointed by the focus on dissecting other authors’ works, and not on creative writing. Although I never let go of my writing aspirations, my priorities soon shifted to marriage, raising our children, and working outside the home.
I was 55 years old when I finally joined an intensive writing group designed to nurture creativity. I didn’t have much confidence.
I had seldom successfully worked with an idea and followed it through to the end. The only times I did submit finished pieces to potential publishers, rejection letters followed. I was equally unsuccessful with contest entries. The few times I shared my writing with family members, the feedback I received was critical. I knew I had something to say, and yet I wasn’t feeling encouraged to keep going. The voices muttering in my head were flattening my creative ideas.
It’s obvious to me now that I had a very strong desire to express myself in writing. No matter what I heard from the outside, I still wanted to write. If you’re reading this, I suspect that you do too. Take heart! I finally found my way into a supportive writing group where we were encouraged to take risks, a place where our words were received with care.
a writer is a person whose desire to write is never extinguished.
I quickly learned that my stories impacted and resonated with others. We wrote from prompts and read our words out loud, which was a new and uncomfortable experience for me, but helped me learn on a deeper level that I matter. One day I brought a very rough draft of two vulnerable paragraphs and read them out to the group as fast as I could, keeping my head down. When I looked up, everyone in the group was crying.
As a writing mentor and guide, I aim to provide the same inclusive, supportive experience I had when I started writing and sharing my words. Without this support, I never would have had the clarity and courage to write my memoir, The Chocolate Pilgrim, based on my experience of walking the Camino de Santiago with my husband and adult son.
In my small group circles and retreats, we learn how to lean gently into our discomfort with story and share with other writers who are taught how to listen and provide inspiring, encouraging feedback. You hold stories that are worth telling, and the time is ripe to have a transformative writing experience, to shift your self-doubt into confidence.
“The beauty of community is to see your own story in others’ experiences, so you don’t feel so alone. The writing journey doesn’t have to be a lonely one, even if it is a solo activity. Marie’s programs provide the safety, support, and accountability that I was looking for!”