Years ago, novelist Edwidge Danticat generously gave a writing workshop and talk to students at Spelman College. We had been reading Danticat’s Krik? Krak! in Professor Opal Moore’s creative writing workshop, and when I saw Edwidge I was effusive with praise: “yourwritingeverywordissoperfecteachimagejustexactlyso.”
When I finally stopped to take a breath, Edwidge laughed and said, “Do you think it comes out ‘already birthed’?”
These days, as I’m getting older and spending more time thinking about marriage and motherhood and creativity and community, I find myself mulling over Edwidge’s words…The idea that writing truly is a laborious process, and that whenever you write, you’re creating a new and original entity, is a reminder to be gentle to ourselves, to give ourselves time to allow our creations to be born, take shape, and ultimately, enter the world.