“I write because I have come to trust that when we honour our own voice and speak up there will always be someone nourished by what we say.” – Jane Cunningham
The more I circle around and get closer and closer to what is really true for me, the closer I get to the importance of stories. One of my sisters in this work is Jane Cunningham. Jane’s bio calls her a ‘conduit of Love and a creativity activist’, and I whole-heartedly agree with that description. Jane is also a storyteller, an artist, and a teacher of women’s soul work. Her work inspires me so much – so I was honoured when she passed me the talking stick in a blog hop about voice and creativity and writing.
As part of this blog hop, each of us responds to 4 questions. Here are my responses:
WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
I have just released my first novel, so at the moment I am working on sharing that work with the world. I am also working to navigate the strange space that exists after a major piece of work is released. It is a strange and magical space to inhabit. When you write a book, it is very solitary, and it is also often ‘done’ a long time before it is released. It’s hard to get your head and heart back in the space of writing the book enough to talk about it with people, especially when your head is often full of the next project.
I am now working at gathering the bones for my next book. I keep thinking that I know what it will be about – I have even written the first section – but it keeps changing form. My first book was a modern heroine’s journey, but it also was about healing the feminine. This next piece will be far more about healing our ancestral wounds. I am really excited about it but I know that it will consume me in a different way, so I feel a holding back. But as Jane reported back from Dr. Estes: we are obliged to shine our light, and I know that this book will not allow me to hold back for very much longer.
I am also working at learning Spanish and planning the next Redfox Retreat, which is all about looking at our stories -so there is lots to keep me busy!
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN ITS GENRE?
In some ways, my work is different because it is metaphysical women’s fiction. Most books about the heroine’s journey and the divine feminine are non-fiction. When I started writing it was partly to write the book that I wanted to read! There are lots of books with magical aspects and lots of authors who I love, but none of them were focusing on the woman’s spiritual path. Other fictional accounts of a spiritual journey – at the time I started writing – were written by men. I’ve been so wrapped up in my own writing that I haven’t gone looking for a while though, so I hope that there are more now!
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
This is a really easy one to answer: I write what I do because I can’t help it. I write to catch on paper the characters and ideas and words that follow me around. I have always loved spiritual and inspirational writing and have collected quotes and spent all of my money on books since I was 15! Writing never felt ‘right’, though, until I finally listened to what my heart and soul wanted to write.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
My process is far less ‘process’ than I would like it to be. The idea for Unfurl presented itself to me as I came out of mediation. I am sorry to say, I have rarely sat in meditation since, as it provides too much inspiration for me to handle! So my writing process is quite changeable. I try very hard to be the kind of writer who can show up every day and write something, but that just doesn’t work for me. I rebel against myself! So instead, I try to listen to the nudges and show up to do something every day – whether that is writing or moving or creating in some way – but I don’t force the writing. I can write for hours, days, weeks with regularity and then I can go for days, weeks and even months without writing a word. When I DO write, however, I lose myself in it. I show up and get out of the way. When I let myself write when it wants to come and allow what wants to come through, I find I get the richest and most surprising writing. When I force it, it comes out stale and stiff. When I write that way and then look back at my writing, I often don’t even recognize it. It is as if I am being used as a channel – like I have been given something to share with other people. It is in those moments that I understand what people mean by being ‘in the flow’.
Lately my focus has shifted to the importance of stories, so some of my process now includes reading about writing and story. I think that the more I read, the richer my writing gets.
Speaking of women’s voice and writing, I now pass the talking stick to the remarkable and deeply inspiring Amy Palko. Amy is a writer, photographer, and publisher and based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She follows the red thread of the subversive sacred feminine, and is endlessly fascinated by where it leads her.
I can’t wait to read what she has to say!