In high school, I believed that math and science would prepare me for the world. But when I flew from Philadelphia to Madison, Wisconsin, I descended into a world of war protests, marijuana, and radical ideas that questioned everything but led nowhere.
For years, I worked to regain my shattered sense of purpose. I meditated every day to understand my spiritual nature. I wrote in a journal every day to understand the words flowing through my mind. I studied many self-help methods. After years of trying to fix myself, the breakthrough came from talking to a therapist. Our talks gave me insight and support.
Eventually I felt well enough to reclaim my childhood dream of becoming a healer. So I entered a master’s degree program in counseling psychology at Villanova University. By the time I graduated, at the age of 52, I learned how therapeutic conversations and compassionate guidance help people overcome problems.
I also knew the power of self-help, and I longed to empower my clients to continue this work on their own. To do so, I needed to write articles. That meant a whole new learning curve. Fortunately, I found a thriving community of writers near my home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. From workshops, critique groups, classes, and contests, I went beyond learning to write. I learned how to become a writer. Based on this learning, I wrote a self-help workbook called How to Become a Heroic Writer: Train Your Brain to Build Habits, Overcome Obstacles, and Reach Readers.
One of the things I learned on my journey to become a self-help writer was the fundamental power of stories in human experience. I dove deeper into the creative social trend to turn life into Story, and wrote Memoir Revolution.
Following my passion for memoir writing, I embarked on a twelve-year odyssey to decipher my own hazy memories of losing my way in the sixties. The resulting memoir, Thinking My Way to the End of the World, provided me with a far greater understanding of myself, offered readers a chance to take a ride inside the 60s “counterculture,” and prepared me more than ever to help people find their stories.
As my life’s work, I am committed to helping people: find their own authentic stories; convert them from mind to memoir; and foster a deeper, richer shared experience, living in harmony in the world.
Jerry Waxler, M.S.