"No English teacher is grading you," Sandra Marinella joked. "That's the beauty of personal writing. You no longer have an English teacher marking all over your paper!"
Forget report cards or having points taken off for this type of writing because it is just for you.
"I think life is complex," Marinella said. "It's confusing. It's a challenge. There's a lot of emotions involved and for the sake of mental health, we can't bury those emotions inside."
You do not have to be an open book. But, author Sandra Marinella said journaling and sharing your life through text can help you cope.
"It's bringing those stories out that kind of saves us," Marinella explained. "And helps us understand ourselves."
Marinella knows that first-hand.
While she has been an English teacher in the Valley for roughly three decades, she just wrote her first book after she used journaling to deal with the trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis.
"I could see in those journals, 'Well, I've had all these problems.' The writing had given me the courage to release the problem, see the story, understand the story, and then reflect on a way of how I could make my life a whole lot better," Marinella said.
Research has shown that writing helps you prioritize issues and organize your feelings.
But how do you even take that first step on a blank page without being a novelist or poet?
"I'm currently teaching a class that I call 'Writing Through Changes,'" said Marinella.
She is using her years of teaching experience and her book, 'The Story You Need to Tell' to help others learn how to express themselves.
"I've formed a course where we will explore how we face-off with change," Marinella explained.
She is now partnering with Changing Hands Bookstore to offer Zoom workshops.
Her first session is already sold out, however there is another session in June.
"We want to pull our stories out," Marinella said. "We want to share our stories and find out the best ways to live with them."
If you are interested in registering, click here.