I’m Mary Lynn Cloghesy, a writer, mother of four young men, health and wellness advocate, and entrepreneur. I’ve spent most of my adult life raising boys (now 18-30 years, the oldest as a single mom until I met my first husband), balancing work and family, seeking creative outlets, and shifting between relationships. The notions of healing and starting over are major themes in my books.
I’ve travelled various paths in my career from being a communications consultant to owning a yoga studio. My last endeavour was partnering in a healthcare clinic that specialized in soft tissue treatments. While these may seem very different, what they have in common is the desire to explore what connects us, whether that is words, our breathing, or our bodies.
I live a healthy lifestyle, but like creamy coffee, and push myself physically, whether that is through a vinyasa sequence or up a mountain. I find solace in nature, hiking the Rockies in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. For me, fitness is a state-of-mind as well, whether that means being disciplined at work, or making a commitment to get to the gym.
Having said that, I am affected by chronic pain due to a whiplash injury, so I use movement and writing to heal. My stories often recount transformative journeys due to traumatic events or family dysfunction. I believe in taking responsibility, choosing to thrive, and/or accepting the consequences of our actions for better or worse.
I’m still striving to become the woman that I want to be, whether that is by committing to my writing or engaging in a new relationship. I spend most of my days working on my manuscripts, building the Literary Lab through which I mentor other authors, and travelling. I have been in the same book club for years. There is so much to say, but perhaps the pages I write will tell you more than anything I could pen here.
Becoming an Author
My career began as a Teaching Assistant in the English Department at the
University of Calgary. After graduation, I wrote a proposal to the President of an oil and gas company to create a position for me and became a technical writer/editor. Four years later, I began consulting as a ghostwriter/editor for executives in resource-based, environmental and technology led industries.
Fast-forward to 2018, and I took a program for artists called Creative Work where I discovered my love for writing fiction. In 2020, I penned the first draft of my debut novel, earning a Graduate Certificate from the Humber School of Writers. Earlier this year, I began my second novel and was recently awarded a Master of Arts, Creative and Critical Writing with merit from the University of Gloucestershire.
Why do I hammer away at the keyboard? The answer is simple: I love language and believe in the power of stories. When I ignore that small inner voice, it whispers persistently write, write, write.
I remember feeling terrified when I stared down the blank page for the first time, afraid that I couldn’t do it, or worse, that I had nothing to say, but here I am, clicking away. Writing is my way of peaking beneath the surface into what makes us most human.
I am also interested in literacy trends. Young people are not reading as much today, and because of technology, they can take in vast volumes of information, but are losing the ability to immerse themselves in a story. Researchers have identified the need for biliterate brain development, so I’m interested in finding out more.
Someone once asked me: Is writing hard? Yes. But the question I asked myself next was: Is there anything else I would rather do? No. Creating characters in narratives that touch the heart is my great delight!