When you introduce yourself do you say you are a writer/poet first or do you say you are a professor, teaching artist, social worker, or mother? The answer to this question is telling because it reveals to us where we have placed the writer in us.
Choose one you relate closest to:
I see my writing as..
(a) A job — something I need to do in order to pay the bills.
(b) A career — something that I work tirelessly at in order to move further in my writing career, also I write for validation and recognition?
(c) A calling — this is something I believe I was born to do, I have answered the call and I understand that my work contributes greatly to our society and the world.
I don’t think you can go wrong if you chose B or C, if you selected A definitely check in with yourself. I fall closest to C but writing is also my career. When I was designing this new round of Writing from the Womb I was thinking about what I need right now as a writer, what would help me return to my story, what would remind me of why I write and what I was born to do? And the word that rose for me was JOY!!! I have been missing the joy of writing, my love for writing, and my purpose as a writer.
I often return to who I was in those beginning days so many years ago when it was all about writing stories about women who looked and spoke like me. When I started my career as a writer it was about writing strong women of color leads, lesbian characters, it was about showcasing black and brown women not as the token but as exceptional characters with compelling stories. Powerhouses! Guerreras!
I never saw myself in the pages. I never saw a girl who looked like in the stories I read in elementary school all through high school. It was when I took my first Caribbean Literature class at New York University with Dr. Natasha Gordon-Chipembere, where I was introduced to The House of Spirits, Kaffir Boy, God of Small Things; and then I went on to discover, Edwidge Danticat, Audre Lorde, Julia Alvarez, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Sandra Cisneros, Maryse Conde, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Jamaica Kincaid. This brought me joy–the audacity these writers of color, specifically, women writers had of telling their stories and highlighting our experiences. It was amazing. Empowering. They are the reason why I wanted to write fiction–I understood that I too had important stories that lived inside of me. But somewhere along the line I/we have lost our joy, this society/world we live in can do that to you–it can make you forget why you picked up the pen to begin with.
We are in an era of “who is publishing what? And who is publishing the quickest?” As if there is some race to the finish line. Worried that if we don’t get our stories out there someone else will get published before us– because this must mean that there is no room for all of us, for all of our stories. As if there can only be one Black ya writer, one Afrolatinx writer. As if we have somehow missed our opportunity. This way of thinking will definitely take the joy out of writing.
This upcoming weekend kicks off of the Writing from the Womb Spring Workshops. I am very excited about putting the JOY back in writing even though sometimes what we write is far from joyous. The intention for this round of WFW is to get out of our way and write from our hearts, to write from our womb, to write from the deepest parts of our spirits, but mostly it is about connecting to and reconnecting to the joy of the writing.
Join me for a five week writing experience intended to do some experimental writing (poetry, short story, flash fiction, essay focused). We will work on projects you have already started and together hit send as we aim to get our work published.
This round of Writing from the Womb we will be taking our writing on the road. I have scheduled some field trips in addition to time to write, we will share and discuss our work and workshop pieces we are struggling with and would like feedback on.
We will be getting out of the comforts of our home and writing nooks and writing in new spaces we did not think we could create in.
Not all writing feels good, some writing is incredible hard. Some moments are hard to relive and get on the page. It is hard to find the time to write, so we must TAKE IT! Some subjects just take everything out of us. So why not write in a space that has beauty all around us–one of our writing field trips will be to the MET Museum of Art.
Writing sessions meet Sundays, 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Location will be emailed to those who have registered. To register email email@example.com
Writing from the WOMB–Five week workshop
Spring 2019 Dates
WORKSHOP FEE is $320.00 — Payment can be made via quickpay or zelle firstname.lastname@example.org
Email me about payment plan.
I am so excited about spending the next few months creating with you.