I used to keep a notebook of trimmings—beautiful words and lines of poetry gathered from books, found in magazines, or conjured up in my mind. Some of them have found homes over the years, some not. Wild words grabbed hold of me almost three years ago. (In case you’re wondering, it’s from this Mary Oliver poem.) I didn’t know what it would become, I just stored the phrase in my heart. Now it’s become a book (coming soon!), a community (right this way), and a website. It’s taken on a life of its own, a life I’ve dreamed of cultivating for at least three years now. To everything there is a season, yes? I really do believe this.
A Seasonal Approach to Creative Living
The table of contents in Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path (yours in 2019!) is organized by season. The Season of Self-Doubt, The Season of Raising Young Children, The Season of Finishing, and so on. I didn’t used to organize my writing life this way, but one of the things I learned after becoming a mother was that I needed to make choices, shift expectations, and do less. The same way my son moved from his bassinet to a crib, or transitioned from waking up several times a night to sleeping seven hours straight, the changing seasons in his young life mirrored my own. The only choice was to adapt, live in the moment, and make peace.
What if I applied this same philosophy to my writing life? I actually wondered this, and once we settled into some new routines, the answers have led me here.
An Origin Story
In 2016 I began creating the community I needed myself about a decade ago, when I finished my MFA and started working full-time. Academia felt like a cocoon, a supportive little hideaway that nurtured my words and helped me grow, but then my diploma came in the mail and I started arriving home from work to an empty refrigerator and suddenly, writing didn’t sound all that appetizing. Or more accurately, writing was what I really wanted to do, but my energy was depleted. Expectations were high (I hadn’t yet learned about The Season of Liminal Space, and I gave myself little grace. If only someone had told me kindness was the way forward, this was the life, and I needed to gently ease into it.
It took years stumbling down a dim-lit path to carve out this writing life for myself. I’m still chiseling away at it, and always will be, but I’ve learned enough that it’s time to offer a hand more formally than I ever have, to say right this way, you’ll find support here.
There’s no manual, no handbook, no guiding light. We must make our own writing life, carve it from circumstances that change and shift as we grow, marry, make families, and all of that. But we don’t have to do it alone.
A Few Things We Believe In
Ready to dip your toe in? To help discern if this is the right space for you to thrive, a few things we believe in:
No more keeping up, hustling, or burning our candles at both ends. Those days are like matches blown out, trailing smoke.
No more accepting the advice of gurus, teachers, or people on the internet above our own inner wisdom.
No more comparing ourselves to others.
No more feeling behind.
No more blaming our circumstances for your inability to write. There is always a way forward.
No more berating ourselves for taking a nap, closing the book, or not meeting this week’s word count. In fact, there should be no more word counts unless a deadline demands it, and even deadlines need softer edges.
No more doubting whether or not you’re a writer. (You are.)
A Few Things We Value
01 Write with the seasons
When you're aligned with the earth, your body, and your creativity, peace can be found and words can be written—slowly.
02 Body comes first
Without space in the body, there can be no space for words to flow.
03 Trust inner wisdom
We don't have to ignore teachers, gurus, and friends (there's a lot to learn), but our inner voice knows more than we think.
What You’ll Find Here (and What You Won’t)
Conversations, blog posts, and resources at Wild Words veer more towards lifestyle than craft. If you’re looking to restructure your novel, write a screenplay, or edit your poetry collection, this is not where you’ll find those tools.
But if you’re tired of being tired, ready to prioritize self-care, unleash your stories, rewire old patterns, tend to your physical, mental, and spiritual health, and are looking for camaraderie and encouragement to brave the writer’s path, then you’re in the right place.
We’ll cover publication, blogging, and social media (after all, there’s a season for visibility), but always from a lens of body over business. Here are some of the topics you’ll find here:
The intersection of writing and wellness
Making peace with our circumstances
Writing in the midst of transition
Identifying and working through mental roadblocks
Nourishing ourselves—mind, body, and soul
Filtering out the noise
And so on
In the future, there will be courses to peruse, and maybe even retreats to attend (a dream deferred but now brewing). It’s hard to list all my big ideas at the moment because I’m still uncertain which ideas will be unfolding when, but I can assure you there is more goodness to come. I'm so happy you're here!