Hi! I'm Jaclyn.
I write things. As a preschooler, my favourite game was pretending to make books. My childhood and teenage memories are punctuated by stories I wrote, writing contests I entered, and an extremely long and dramatic diary I kept stored on a floppy disk. (Thank God floppy drives are no longer a thing -- nobody will ever be able to read it!)
Writing wasn't something I thought about -- it was something I did. It was the only thing I could start doing and then look at the clock a moment later and realize three hours had passed. It was the most important thing in my life.
And then... I stopped.
It happened gradually, then suddenly. By the end of high school, I could feel the pressure mounting. Was I good enough to be a real writer? Would I ever be? I went off to university and let my authentic writing voice slip away. I became a person who used words like intertextuality and performativity and metanarrative. Then I started journalism school, where my teachers told me to forget my newfound vocabulary and focus on the 5Ws.
I graduated. I was lost. I started freelancing. I developed a magazine voice, a blog voice, and a different voice for every one of my ghostwriting clients. By all accounts I was succeeding as a writer, but as I churned out magazine articles, I still felt like something was missing. Writing used to be fun. What had happened? I missed the creative freedom that had come so easily to me as a kid.
Then I had a kid.
In my postpartum haze, all those questions that had once plagued me -- will I ever be good enough? Do I even deserve to write? -- suddenly didn't seem so important anymore. I was caring for a newborn around the clock, but somehow, writing found me again. I typed one-handed on my iPhone in the middle of the night while breastfeeding. I even managed to get myself out of the house once a week to go to a creative writing workshop (though I'm not sure exactly how.)
It happened slowly, but it happened. I started writing -- really writing -- and finally felt that sense of creative freedom I'd been longing for. I promised myself that I would help other people find their way back to writing, too.
On the road again...
When my daughter was eight months old, I packed her up along with her two grandmothers and headed off to Orangeville, Ontario to complete my training as an Amherst Writers & Artists Method facilitator. Over the course of that week, I learned how to lead writing workshops that would leave participants feeling connected, inspired and creatively nourished. That fall, I facilitated a workshop series at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, and in the January of 2016, I began the first session of my ongoing Birds of a Feather writing workshop.
Since then, I've created more workshops both in Toronto and online, including Writing From the Senses: A Mindful Writing Workshop, Taking Flight: 6 Weeks to an Inspired Writing Practice and The Blog Studio. I'm also working on my MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
What's your story?
Jaclyn's Official-ish Bio
Jaclyn Desforges is a writer, editor and workshop facilitator whose work has appeared in Today's Parent, Homemakers, Fresh Juice, Introvert, Dear, Mind Body Green and other publications. Her poetry has appeared in Peregrine and is forthcoming in Mortar Magazine. She studied Fine Arts Cultural Studies at York University with a focus on community arts practice, followed by Centennial College's post-graduate journalism program. In 2015, she completed the Amherst Writers & Artists Method leadership training program and began facilitating writing workshops through her business, Nest & Story. She also became a member of the Toronto Writers Collective and facilitated a weekly workshop at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre. Jaclyn is currently completing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She lives in Toronto with her husband and toddler.