Best-selling author Cheryl Richardson delves into midlife challenges and experiments with journal writing in her long-awaited return, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife.
1. What was the catalyst to Waking Up?
Turning 50 created a slow rumble of anxiety that inspired me (forced me, really) to start listening to my life. As I did, I began to reevaluate everything—my work, my marriage, my whole life. The book tells the story of what happened as I embarked on a hero’s journey. It’s a memoir in journal form that allows me to teach by example. I hope that readers see themselves in the unfolding story and feel less alone as a result.
2. How would you describe your spirituality?
From a very young age I’ve been committed to the evolution of my soul, and I see this desire as the foundation of my spirituality. Today, I live my life with a focus on Presence and Beauty as a path to God. The underlying message of the book is that living a conscious, examined life is living a spiritual life.
3. In what ways did the move toward journaling affect your writing?
I’ve been keeping a journal since 12 years old and it’s a practice that nurtures my soul and my art by keeping me connected to my inner life in a rich and meaningful way. It’s trained me to value the power of discipline, and ultimately it taught me to write in an accessible, down-to-earth way that makes readers feel like we’re sitting in my living room having a conversation. As a writer, I find this feedback deeply fulfilling, and I have journal-keeping to thank for that.
4. How did your family react to your willingness to be so vulnerable and open in this book?
My husband is a writer who honors the truth and he graciously allowed me to share some of the intimate details of our life together. The rest of our family hasn’t read it yet. :)
5. In light of Louise Hay’s recent passing, how will you remember her most?
I will always remember Louise as an elegant woman who knew, deep in her soul, about the power of words to nurture and heal our relationship with ourselves.