THE INTENTIONAL WRITER

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Good morning everyone!

Thank you for registering for today’s FREE intro to Writing from the Womb.

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… fill in the black? 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:

  1. A job — something I need to do in order to pay the bills.

  2. A career — something that I work tirelessly at in order to move further in my writing career, I also write for validation and recognition?

  3. 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.

  4. A hobby — I am not serious about it, Its something I do for fun, it’s not a real job.

Impostor syndrome is real!!! There are so many reasons we write or do not write this is why it is so important that we constantly check in with ourselves about our WHY? What is our intention? What do we want to achieve? What do we want to leave behind? Who are we writing for?

When I was designing this round of Writing from the Womb for 2020 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 words that rose for me were JOY and INTENTION! I have been missing the joy of writing, my love for writing, and remembering what my INTENTION (purpose) is 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 me in the stories I read in elementary school and 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 of 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? Who is publishing the quickest? Who has the largest following and likes?” 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 or Afrolatinx writer. As if we have somehow missed our opportunity. This way of thinking will definitely take the joy out of writing.

Today kicks off of the Writing from the Womb Spring Workshops and this years theme is THE INTENTIONAL WRITER. I am very excited about putting the JOY and INTENTION 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 reconnecting to the joy of the writing.

I look forward to seeing you all in just a few hours.

Today’s workshop will be LIVE STREAMED – subscribe to LA SANTERA Youtube channel for access today at 1:00PM! VIDEO POSTED!!!

Join us today, Sunday, January 26, 2020 from 1:00PM – 5:00PM

FREE INTRO to WRITING FROM THE WOMB

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria

2113 Amsterdam Ave.

New York, NY 10032

*Any donation is accepted for Word Up!

This is a wonderful time for us to beginning for us to January is a wonderful time to begin establishing writing goals and setting powerful intentions for where we see our writing headed and I am humbled and honored that I get to do this work.

What to bring today:

  • A journal

  • Computer

  • Pens

  • An openness to dig deep

  • Bring water and snacks to keep yourself nourished as we will not be taking any breaks.

If you’re someone who isn’t sure you’re ready to write, maybe feeling some impostor syndrome or your feeling some doubts about your ability please come. Know that you are in good hands and today will be a safe space for you to come as you are! We are going to have a beautiful experience. In this space you are not judged!!! In this space you are home! Lets go pack you bag and get on the train.

Attached are the suggested readings for today’s workshop:

Bloodchild and Other Stories, Positive Obsession by Octavia Butler PDF ATTACHED positive-obsession

The Love Of My Life by Cheryl Strayed https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/321/the-love-of-my-life

With love,

Alicia

This workshop is made possible by the generous support of Dominican Writers and Word Up! Thank you!

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