About Jill

Jill Baughan is an author and speaker who, through adventure and play, helps people find joy, no matter what else is happening–good, bad or ugly–in life. Born in Bluffton, Indiana, she learned to laugh and throw up at the same time while riding the Tilt-A-Whirl at the annual Bluffton Street Fair. Early on in life she was diagnosed with an acute form of adultaphobia (fear of entering the Land of Responsible Adulthood). This manifested itself most poignantly when, for many years, she went kicking and screaming from one stage of life to the next, ever concerned that now she would have to start behaving like a grownup.


Alas, adulthood did catch up with Jill, and she is no stranger to painful experiences, such as the sudden death of her father when she was ten, and a long battle with infertility as an adult. Her first book, A Hope Deferred: A Couple’s Guide to Coping with Infertility, chronicled her journey, and offered suggestions for couples traveling the same difficult road. Even though the challenges of life have changed her, however, her innate wildness remains unshaken. “Though there are times when part of me mourns what’s lost, sighs at what’s here and trembles a bit at what’s to come,” she says,


“I still want to hop onto a Harley, swing like Tarzan from a vine, and toilet paper somebody’s house.”


Jill’s latest book, Born To Be Wild: Rediscover the Freedom of Fun, helps men and women unleash that power of play in their own lives. Insisting that she is not the only one with this “gift,” she says, “It’s possible to find joy, even in tough times. We just have to be intentional about drawing from the joy that walks alongside the sorrow and disappointment in our lives.” Her message gives you a new ability to:

  • Find joy no matter what your life’s challenges are right now.
  • Restore adventurous dreams you may have postponed.
  • Multiply joy by sharing your fun with others.
  • Use moments of play to heal in times of grief and loss.
  • Increase your awareness of sacred moments in every day.


As a frequent speaker, Jill’s message has touched hundreds of people at retreats, civic organizations, church groups, women’s ministries and businesses. Leaders look to Jill as someone who can inspire their audiences with humor, depth and wisdom.

Jill spent a lot of  years as an English instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University before she decided to take all that fun stuff and adventure on the road.  She and her husband, Ben, live near Richmond, Virginia.

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