Things I learned to do while sitting on a panel at Lidia’s Hybrid Workshop.

Photograph by Tracy Burkholder, writer living in Portland, OR.

What do you do when the energy in your body is loose, barely letters let alone words? You take photos of giant spiders you’ve killed. Or photos of the underside of smoke trees. Or maybe you go on walks, talking into your phone so that autocorrect becomes your co-author. Or maybe you garden. Or maybe you read six books at once, devouring.

Maybe you spend your time un-teaching the shoulds of writing. Maybe you hand out beautiful blue feathers to act as bookmarks to your beautiful blue book. You tally the rejections and think “That just means I’m closer to yes” Or you make your own yes. You staple your Kinko-copied poems together and give them to your friends.

You shuffle along the edges of a community or jump in with a giant splash. You spiral in and out and in again. You sit in rooms together, either body and book/voice/ vision or body and body. You remember and forget and remember again: The words you write, when you finally get them down, are not just for you. There are people waiting for your words to save them. There are people who have been waiting to feel the weird in them resonate with the weird in you. So be a bell and ring.

(Thanks to Lidia Yuknavitch for the chance to sit and talk today with a lovely group of inspiring people. Get to an in-person or online Corporeal Workshop if you can. Your weird will get a chance to dance.)

Speaking of ringing, look up there in the menu bar. My store is open, which means my book is now available for pre-order. I’ll be ringing louder about it in the days to come, but there it is!


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