This year, I had an essay published as a feature on The Isolation Journals. The Isolation Journals is a community creativity project founded by Suleika Jaouad.
Suleika is the author of the NYT bestselling memoir Between Two Kingdoms, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, and a cancer survivor. She reports from the in-between places — on the people and topics that elude easy categorization.
The Isolation Journals has featured writers and creatives such as Elizabeth Gilbert, LaTonya Yvette, Lena Dunham, Oscar-winner Jon Batiste, Imbolo Mbue, Nikita Gill, and so many more. But alongside the well-known artists, she also features people like Quintin Jones, a prisoner on death row who was sadly executed on the 19th of May 2021, or a six-year-old cancer patient who prompted the community to close our eyes and look inwards.
The Isolation Journals has over 100,000 subscribers — but it’s so much more than those numbers, it’s a truly nourishing community of creative souls all over the world, who support each other from afar.
How Suleika describes the space:
“When covid hit, I left my apartment in New York City and spent the next few months quarantining in my parents’ attic. I was no stranger to isolation: I spent much of my twenties in treatment for leukemia, unable to travel, eat out, see friends, even take a walk. Suddenly isolation was back—this time on a global scale.
Feeling unmoored and uninspired, I decided to reimagine what a journal could be. To turn isolation into creative solitude and connection, I asked my favorite writers, artists, and community leaders to share some words of inspiration and a prompt, and I invited my community to journal along with me. By the end of the first month, there were 100,000 us: writing, searching, seeking, connecting—making sense of our lives together.
But isolation did not begin with the pandemic—more and more it’s a feature of everyday life. And in November of 2021, I learned my leukemia had returned, and I entered cancer treatment again. As we all navigate our own interruptions, I’ve continued send out a journaling prompt from a different contributor, along with a missive where I try to wrangle meaning from the ups and downs of life.
Here, we learn how to use creativity as a tool for survival. Here, small acts of creativity accrue into something much bigger. Here, stories of vulnerability become stories of resilience and strength, and they unite us as a community.
We believe a creative life is for everyone.”
~ Suleika Jaouad
In April 2023, an essay by I was featured on the platform. It’s a piece about Beds, all the beds she’s every slept in, and the life story told through that lens:
“From this flimsy hospital bed, the sterilized linoleum floor looks more inviting for a good night’s sleep than this narrow, sagging, hot Mattress of Despair. It makes me think of all the beds I’ve ever slept in, and all the ones that I’ve forgotten. The beds that felt like home, and those that felt like hell. The beds I shared with friends, and others I shared with lovers…”
Thanks so much to Suleika Jaouad, Carmen Radley and Holly Huitt for this opportunity. It was a pleasure to have a feature on the Isolation Journals.
“Today, we have a gorgeously evocative essay and prompt from the artist and writer Tamzin Merivale, where she recounts all the beds she can remember, and in doing so, traces a life’s trajectory,” Suleika Jaouad.
You can find the whole piece here.
If you’re interested in working with me, you can get in touch here.