Journaling for Beginners & Discovering Your Deep Passions with Katrina Martin
1| Hi Katrina! Welcome to the blog space. Can you start by introducing yourself? What lights you up, weird quirks, hobbies, passions? Give us the full scoop!
Hey there! Thanks so much for having me! My name is Katrina Martin, and I’m a freelance writer and poet based in Vancouver, Canada. When I’m not writing, I’m studying English Literature at the University of British Columbia, and working as a tour guide! A bit about me…
I like to try EVERYTHING, which basically means I have a never-ending list of hobbies and dreams. I’m notorious for having a million projects started, I have incurable FOMO, and I love traveling but hate planning. I only watch TV shows that make me laugh, my favorite authors are Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf, and I think people are the most interesting creatures in the world. My restlessness – or my sweet tooth – will be the death of me.
When I’m not with people, words and nature are my solace. I live right by a hidden little slice of the beach - with a swing that goes over the ocean to my left and the looming skyscrapers to my right - and you can often find me there with a coffee and my journal or book at sunset.
2| You talk a lot about how words have been a safe haven and a very natural place for you to run. When did you start writing & how has the written word enabled you to face hardships in your life?
I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. My mom also loves words, and when I was five years old she helped me memorize my first of what would be many poems. As I got older, I wrote a lot of short stories. For some reason, I had a weird fascination with the unfortunate, and the protagonist was almost always an orphan or had no legs. I was a pretty weird kid.
For a long time, writing was pushed to the side as I tried to find a more practical passion. I studied social work, taught English abroad, and basically looked into every degree that would land me a nine to five. I felt the urge to be creative eating me from the inside out, but I stifled it because I thought it would never pay the bills. I felt lost for a long time. And then one night, when I was living in Thailand, I climbed onto the roof of my building and looked at the stars. (It was terribly cliché of me to be having an existential crisis in Thailand, but alas, that’s where it happened). I asked myself, twenty years from now, when someone asks you what you do, what do you want the answer to be? And the only thing I could come up with was, I am a writer. Since then, it’s always felt right. Scary as hell - don’t get me wrong - but right.
The reasons why I write are not always valiant. I write because I’m a piece-of-trash millennial with an inflated sense of self-worth, who thinks that people actually care about my opinion on things. Sometimes I write because I want praise. Sometimes I write because I want to be remembered. But sometimes I write because the world is too much, and it’s only when I wrap it up with colorful syntax and nuanced metaphors that I can begin to bear it.
3| In your latest blog post, For Me, It’s My Nose, you talk about the voice that has always told you to be more in this life. What I LOVED about this post was how you took ownership of your insecurity rather than giving it power over you. Could you share a few pieces of advice for the girl who’s ready to take ownership of her insecure thoughts & walk in radical confidence?
I’ll start by saying this: no woman on earth lives completely free of insecurity. I don’t care how chill or confident they seem. NO ONE IS THAT COOL. And I hate to say it, but your insecurities probably aren’t going to disappear for good. But, the good news is they don’t have to control your life.
First of all, I would tell this girl to do something she’s passionate about. I’ve found that I spend the most time worrying about my appearance when I literally have nothing better to do. Instead of wasting time and energy comparing and disparaging yourself, use that time getting really good at something. You’ll a) stop thinking about it so much and b) be so impressed with yourself you don’t even care.
Speak to yourself like you would speak to your best friend. Most of the time we would never say the things to a friend that we say to ourselves. Practice listing things you like about yourself, and then remind yourself of the person you want to be remembered as. For myself, I realized I would way rather be known as someone who is kind and intelligent and uplifting, than someone who is just “pretty.” As the ever-wise John Mayer once said, “If you’re pretty, you’re pretty; but the only way to be beautiful is to be loving. Otherwise it’s just, ‘Congratulations about your face.’”
4| As a fellow writer, I know there are SO many women who struggle to reap the huge benefits of writing/journaling. Many don’t even know where to start. Do you have some tips for beginners?
To all those women, I would say, I FEEL YOU. Even though I know the positive benefits writing and journaling has for me, I still struggle to be consistent. My writing often tends to result from sporadic bursts of inspiration, but this is neither the most productive way or the healthiest – since these bursts of inspiration usually happen at three in the morning. But there are a few things you can do that will help increase consistency in the craft.
As soon as you wake up, write for ten minutes. Fear is most often what stops people from writing. They feel like if they don’t sit down and pound out America’s next great novel they might as well not even try. But with ten-minute-mornings, the stakes are literally the lowest ever. It doesn’t matter what you write about, or how many spelling mistakes you make, so long as for ten minutes your pen doesn’t stop moving. Let your thoughts flow from mind to hand to paper without giving fear a chance to get a word in.
2. Writing dates.
Many people want to write, but feel as though they don’t have the time in their hectic lives to give it the attention it needs. So, at the start of each week I’ll choose a day when I can set aside a few hours to go on a date with my writing. I treat that time as if I have a date with freaking Michael B. Jordan – someone better be dying before I cancel it.
5| What would you say to the girl who is still very much so trying to uncover her deep passions and purpose in this life?
THERE’S NO TIMELINE. I swear sometimes society makes it feel like if by 25 you haven’t figured out exactly what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, someone will literally come murder you. The pressure is that real.
TRY THINGS. I jumped around for years before even having the faintest idea of what my purpose was. I worked with kids, worked in restaurants, studied social work, taught English in Thailand. At one point, I wanted to play in the NBA. I realized I couldn’t sink a ball if my life depended on it, but hey I TRIED. Eventually, you will find something that really gets your soul buzzing. That being said…
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JUST ONE THING. You don’t have to only be into fitness or be only an artist or only enjoy making delicate French pastries. Passion does not have to be an all or nothing thing. Personally, I want to be as multi-faceted of a human as possible.
6| In your words, what does being an authentic woman look like for you?
An authentic woman is fierce yet gentle, passionate yet wise, and confident yet humble. You know you’ve met an authentic woman when you walk away feeling like the best version of yourself, because that’s the effect they have on everyone.
Katrina Martin is a freelance writer and poet based out of Vancouver, Canada. She is finishing up her studies in English Literature at UBC, and works as a tour guide in her off-time. Katrina specializes in creative non-fiction, always writing with bold honesty and keen articulation. She is passionate about the power of the written word, and dreams of one day publishing a book of her own.
Katrina’s work has been published by The Garden Statuary, Love is Moving Magazine, The Matador Network, and more. Her article “Don’t Ask Me How My Trip Was” received over 100k views within the first month, and continues to receive attention. She is always looking for opportunities to expand her range of creative talent as a writer and artist, and works tirelessly to transform experiences into art.
Connect with Katrina on Instagram!