bring it off the page, through the page

Good morning good morning! It’s a bright, grey morning here – I have rose hips in this morning’s tea, and everything in my mouth tastes tart and sharp now, all that vitamin c taking hold of my tongue, throat, and refusing to let go.

What’s got you captive this morning?

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I would love to bring writing ourselves whole workshops/talks/conversations to your town/school/organization/group. I’m beginning to build my Fall 2012 and early 2013 schedule, which will include trips to Seattle, New York City, Portland (ME, and possibly OR), Baltimore, Los Angeles, Toronto, Denver and Omaha (as a beginning).

I most frequently am asked to speak/offer workshops about writing as a transformative practice for those living in the aftermath of traumatic experience, and about erotic writing as a liberatory practice. Please contact me if you would like to bring writing ourselves whole to you!

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I’m filled with words this morning, overflowing, bursting, eruptive, almost agonized in their midst. I want only days, weeks, to sing them out of me, onto the page. I want uninterrupted time, enormous stretches of it, a blank fabric of time lifted out in front of me that I can sully at my own pace with the words that want to emerge.

Currently, I’m in the middle of four book projects–some more middle than others–and am figuring out how we who are Americans and artists (and thus not wildly supported, as some other countries/cultures do their artists/creative class) and not independently wealthy make way for our creative projects to push out from us into the world. I have cleared out many of my evenings, say no to a lot of invitations, have missed parties and gatherings, didn’t get much queer art during June — this is the moment of choice. How much longer, Jen, will you say you just want to write your books? When will you write them? With the breath it takes to complain, to whinge about not having enough time, you could sit down for ten minutes or a half hour and work.

It’s important to articulate desire: how else do we know what we deeply need? I have written my desire for years, filled near-endless notebooks with ache and longing. For a long time, I espoused a belief that most of what we needed, in order to effect change in our lives, was to understand what we wanted through the process/practice of writing it. In writing it, we had an embodied experience of that longing — and that initial, embryonic embodying would begin to gestate what which we longed for, would plant the seed, would set the stage for bringing it forth into our lived reality, off the page.

And, at some point, I realized/remembered that we don’t just get to sit back and wait for what we’ve (I’ve) written and ached after to simply slip from me/slip into being. We have to fucking push. We have to take action. I have to do the work.

Visioning is a necessary part of creating change in our lives. It’s not all we have to do, though, is it? We have to step forward, out into the murk and mess and risk.

So I have made an agreement with myself: I will practice not taking the breath or ink to say/write “I want” about something I’ve been just wanting for years (like, say, a decade, or a lifetime) — and, instead, with that breath/energy/impetus, I will take some action: write an email, write for ten or thirty minutes, make a phone call, pet the dog, anything to bring it (that desire/my focus) off the page and into the world.

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What ten minutes do you have to give to your real, lived creative self today? What want needs a few minutes of your time and attention? Is it a new longing, something that you want to push into on the page? Or is it something that keeps coming up for you (or your character)? What would happen if you took a different sort of action toward the effecting of that desire today? Ten minutes. Go.

I’m grateful for you this morning, grateful for these words, your gentle practices with yourself, your strong breath and good heartbeat, your wise eyes, your powerful words. Thank you.


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