My Philosophy and Approach
Life is full of ups, downs, twists, and turns – many of which we have no control over. This roller coaster is a depiction of the pain points and growth opportunities we’ve each been presented throughout our lives.
And each one is like no other.
Your unique story and your unique voice have a place in the world.
Undertaking the project of writing a book can call up our deepest doubts and fears, which is why so many people resist the compulsion to write.
The silver lining, though, is that stories heal. They heal the writer and they heal the reader.
Stories help us make meaning of life. And when we tell our stories, we lighten our emotional and spiritual loads, which allows us to get closer to our inherent selves so we can live authentically, unburdeneded of the pain caused by withholding our voices.
And we experience inner peace and the ability to do life with ease and grace.
As Maya Angelou once wrote,
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Twenty-five years ago, I started the first draft of my novel, Miranda’s Garden. Through the process of developing my main character, Miranda, and her story world, I came to realize that the story I was writing would tell me a story about myself and my life I hadn’t known before.
It was as if my subconscious had cracked open so deeply, I was able to access parts of myself I never had before, and old memories of abuse rose to the surface.
Needless to say, this turned my life upside down, and I experienced what many would call the dark night of the soul. The beauty of the whole process was that Miranda and I developed a meaningful relationship. We were a team. We had an agreement. I would tell her story with honesty and integrity and she would show me how to navigate this dark and difficult time in my life. After this experience, which led to an inner peace and I had never known before, I knew that my calling in life was to help others navigate this rewarding alchemical process – the rough magic – of writing.
My Experience and Credentials
I’m a published fiction writer, award-winning screenwriter, editor, and writing maven, seeking to assist other creative souls who wish to share their stories and collectively take part in the project of healing the world. I teach college students about pop culture and writing at Portland State University with the intention of helping them fully embrace the power of pop culture and the power of their words. My most successful students and clients resonate with my signature compassionate pragmatism, which I’ve developed as a result of raising three stunning humans and guiding thousands of college students – and now coaching clients – through the oftentimes harrowing process of putting words on the page. When I’m not hanging out with my three grown kids, snowshoeing the beautiful Oregon backcountry, hiking to a waterfall, or dancing, you’ll find me at home with a book or my most recent Netflix binge, getting comfy with Iris, my feline familiar, or fast walking to my next exciting activity, enjoying the city culture of quirky downtown Portland, Oregon, happily doing life without a car.
I found Johnnie’s ability to combine the spiritual with the academic refreshing and current. So many times, you get one or the other, not both. She has the ability to combine both areas with wisdom and compassion for the student/client.R. McCracken
I always enjoy working with Johnnie. She is a powerful and creative woman.Shelly S.